Kwajalein: Braves 5, Pirates of the Monongahela 2

Why Kwajalein? A good start leading to a clear victory, never seriously in doubt, but not overwhelming except as a combined forces operation. At Kwajalein Air Corps bombardment, Naval bombardment, the lessons learned from Tarawa, an “island skipping” campaign, and a little experience led to a significant victory.

The good defense of having Gerrit Cole pitching did not stop the Braves post Freddie Freeman offense from pushing from island to island. The shelling started in the 3rd inning with the Pirates getting 1. Without a bad throw from Dansby Swanson, they probably don’t get that. Bottom half came the answer. First a double by the Lieutenant. Then, a popped up bunt by Mike Foltenewicz. Then Ender Inciarte poked one past 3rd that hit the cut out on the stands and he was thrown out trying to stretch out a double, but Swanson scored. Then, the 16 inch guns of the fleet opened up. As the 16 or so bags of powder went off, Brandon Phillips hit one into left center about 15 rows up. So, a lead.

In the fifth it extended to 5 to 1 with the big blow being a 2 out 2 run homer from the recently acquired Matt Adams.

Folty was pretty good through 5. In the 6th, he started wobbling. After Folty gave up 1 more, Jason Motte came in with no outs and runners on the corners. Strike out (after falling behind 3 – 0), strike out, ground out. A real hero.

That ended the story because after the terrible stories of Bataan and Wake Island, the relief corps has really turned it around.

73 thoughts on “Kwajalein: Braves 5, Pirates of the Monongahela 2”

  1. Do you teach history, cliff, or are you simply the world’s biggest WWII junkie?

    Thank you for the book learning and the recap.

  2. coop,

    I wouldn’t say I am the biggest junkie, but probably in the top 5 percentile.

    Unlike many who had parents to serve in that conflict, I had a father who told me many of his stories.

    Thank you and you are welcome.

  3. hey cliff

    thanks again for your recap, a model of originality. By happenstance after the game last night i was re-watching the Ken Burns WW2 documentary, first episode which covered, among other things, the Bataan march. After 76 years it still boggles the mind, the depravity.

    snowshine @44, previous thread

    thanks for being the first to offer…first two lines, always the hardest, are great. Second two must also rhyme with each other, if it’s forced so much the better. The only other ‘rule’ is that somewhere in the 4 lines there should be an attempt at hyperbole to help achieve some level of whimsical humor. I break these rules almost all the time. Do as i say, not etc etc Ha!

  4. Smarter people than me:

    Over the years, I have accrued about $35,000 in credit card limits but I only have about $2,000 of that utilized. I would never utilize more than 10% of that limit. Is it beneficial to close some of these accounts?

  5. Motte has been a very pleasant surprise. In looking at his career stats, he was smoking in St Louis until he got injured. He started to turn things around and seemed to be on an upward trend in Chicago. After this, Colorado happened. All in all I could see him continuing to be effective. Could be a great signing and a steal. I know he was impressive last night.

  6. Smarter people than me ought to weigh in, but I’m under the impression that if you closed them, you would lower your credit to limit ratio, thus potentially lowering your score. So, you shouldn’t close the accounts. Plus, the age of accounts history would go down. Old accounts with no balances are a good thing.

  7. I’m giving this my best shot:

    After he paid his insurance and copay
    The doctor told Gift Ngoepe
    “It seems the diagnosis is grim.”
    It’s going to be a Pirate’s life for him.

    In watching several clips on YouTube, I’ve uncovered multiple pronunciations of Ngoepe. In one, a South African pronounced it as Oon-opah (emphasis on latter syllable). That’s probably the closest to being the correct one but I spent way too much time trying to make that work. I went with the standard Chip Caray mispronunciation.

  8. @9

    John R…

    excellent..tradition requires we put the guy’s name on line 1, the pure Clerihew being primarily biographical…reversing your first couplet would work just as well…thanks again, here’s where i’m at.

    Gift Nogoepe
    has never whiffed ‘n won a trophy
    in Africa and/or South America
    Chip includes this skill in baseball esoterica.

  9. MLB power rankings came out and beginning with the Braves at number 27, 3 of the 4 weakest teams are from the NL East. I don’t agree with some of the rankings, but outside of the Nationals, our division could be historically bad.

  10. @10, Ahh…forgot (or never knew? I can’t recall) about the name in the first line.

  11. Other than a few games with the Dodgers, Nats ans Stros, our schedule between now and the break is super weak.

    3 more with the Bucs
    7 with the Giants
    3- Reds
    3- Marlins
    3- SD
    3 Oakland
    3- Mets
    3- Brewers (I don’t believe they are all that good)

  12. Gift Ngoepe
    A previous no-name
    With the bat, not quite dominant
    But a breakthrough for his continent

  13. @16

    If the starting pitching can step up and the pen stays consistent.

    On offense, the ABs we have been taking of late have been great.

  14. I’m most pleased about the low rate of strikeouts among Braves hitters. Remember 2013 when it was Whiff City? Seitzer’s approach has really taken hold. Lots of hitting to the opposite field, as well. Very happy to see that.

  15. @18

    And it’s just a much more enjoyable thing to watch. 1-8 are some consistently good ABs. No flailing and whiffing on the regular, and each player seems to have an approach. I think Kevin Seitzer needs to be here for the long-term. If he can get the lefties hitting for more power, then he could be the best hitting coach we’ve had since, what, Don Baylor?

    Can’t yet say the same about Chuck Hernandez, though. I think we’d be a better 2017 team with McDowell, but I guess they didn’t want to wait on Hernandez if we have a new, younger rotation in July or August.

  16. @18
    K-rate hasn’t changed that much since the days of Gattis and the Uptons, but OPS has increased yearly.

  17. @20

    Thanks for that. I guess the rest of the league doesn’t care much about striking out.

  18. @21
    I think it could be more of a testament to Seitzer that he’s getting more out of lesser players.

  19. You’re right. The common 8 in 2013, who played average of 133 of the team’s games, K’d 914 times. The common 8 in 2017 is on pace to K 908 times, and that’s with a larger platoon at catcher not accounted for. With that said, Andrelton Simmons, who did not K much (55 times in 638 ABs), was, in some ways, an all-or-nothing type hitter, and while he didn’t K much, he certainly had his fair share of frustrating ABs.

    But to also prove Ryan’s point, the 2017 team has 5 players (had Freeman stayed healthy) on pace to K 100+ times, as did the 2013 team. So what is the nuance in approach that is producing higher results but can’t be reduced to K rate? I wonder how our exit velocity and line drive rate compares to the 2013 team, but that beyond the limit of my statistical abilities.

  20. @ 13 and 16

    Rhyming is AA/BB..each line can be whatever length you want, irrespective of the others, this is a major plus for the poet, allows you space when you need more to tell your story. Forced rhymes are great if they are funny – they usually are even if they are bad!

    Two things are worth going on line for…Google ‘whimsical humor’, a British vice…go to Wiki and enter ‘Clerihew’, it has an interesting history. Thanks.

  21. @23, the big thing for me is that it looks like we *finally* won’t have the worst hitter in baseball in our starting 8 and getting 400+ AB’s. Teams of the past few years have had multiple guys vie for that distinguished honor.

    A lot of you have said that one way to field a winning team is to just not have any super-awful players. I can buy into that.

  22. A lot of you have said that one way to field a winning team is to just not have any super-awful players. I can buy into that.

    I think this is our first step towards competitiveness. Just put 25 cromulent players on the roster for the first time in 15 years. And if you get lucky with 5-6 elite players, then I think that’s the best way to be a mid-market team and have a shot. But when teams know how to get to your weakness, even during the competitive years, they’ll isolate it and bury you.

  23. Braves fWAR leaders:

    1. Freeman (:-() — 2.6
    2. Inciarte — 1.3
    T3. Flowers (!) — 1.1
    T3. Kemp — 1.1
    T5. Phillips — 0.6
    T5. Markakis — 0.6
    7. Johnson — 0.5
    T8. Suzuki — 0.4
    T8. Colon (???) — 0.4
    T8. Ramirez — 0.4
    T8. Foltynewicz — 0.4

  24. Could fWAR be miscalculating Colon’s periphs? Aside from H/9, everything looks good. It’s just…. ya know… all those hits per nine…

  25. Let the record show that Braves catchers have combined for 1.5 fWAR more than a quarter into the season.

    Matt Wieters has 0.8 fWAR

  26. @30, fangraphs uses FIP for pitching WAR, right? I was going to try to explain how that might tend to overvalue a guy that gives up a lot of hits, but then I came to my senses. I know that discussion would not end well.

  27. “I would walk 500 miles” by the Proclaimers for Glasnow.

    Proclaimers, Scottish band.
    Glasnow, Scottish name.

  28. Bowman says Ruiz is probably here to stay. (Unless he stops hitting I guess.)

  29. Brian Jordan just mentioned that Chipper has talked about how Adams should be taking ground balls at 3rd during practice. Said it would give the Braves more options when Freeman returns.

  30. Matt Adams at 3B could be a huge improvement to the roster. Inciarte/Phillips/Freeman/Kemp/Adams/Flowers/Markakis/Swanson would be a formidable lineup. Adonis on the bench. Ruiz traded. But this isn’t video games. I doubt Adams could just slide over to 3B.

  31. Braves minor league catchers:

    A-: Brett Cumberland – .913 OPS in 93 ABs
    A+: Alex Jackson – .923 OPS in 155 ABs
    AA: Kade Scivicque – .736 OPS in 105 ABs (little bit of a slump last 20 PAs)

    They’re raking.

  32. Game restarts at 12.50 AM, top of the 7th, Sam Freeman pitching, Braves still down by one.

  33. Freeman gives up one hit, nothing else. Pirates still lead 3-2…rain delay was 3 hours 12 minutes.

    Bottom 7th..Le Blanc pitching, Ngoepe at 2nd, Boni grounds out. Ender singles.goes to 2nd on pass ball..BP now cant hit into another DP,Phillips singles, Ender scores, GAME TIED 3-3.

  34. raining again, Rivero pitching, heat…1 out score tied..Markakis ..wild pitch, BP at 2nd..Nick grounds out, BP to 3rd, 2 out, Kemp up..BRAVES LEAD !! kEMP SINGLES, bp SCORES GO AHEAD 4TH RUN. SINGLES, bp SCORES…
    Adams grounds out, 3rd out…4/3 Bravos

  35. Top 8 Vizcaino pitching…K…Frazier up K, 2 out none on…Harrison flies out to deep CF for 3rd out…Viz very impressive…

    Bottom 8 still 4/3 Braves…2 out, nobody on, JJ warming up…Dansby up..K

    Top 9 still Braves lead 4/3, JJ to’s 1.26 am…McCutcheon up…grounds out to Dansby, 1 out…Bell singles to LF, 1 on, 1 out…Cervelli singles…1st and 2nd 1 out…uh oh…Jaso strikes out, 2 down…Frieze up…ball 4, bases loaded, Mercer up, JJ at 20 pitches…still 2 out
    JJ looks tired, poor control…Base Hit, 2 runs score…Pirates lead 5-4…Snit on, double switch..Luke Jackson on, Peterson to 3rd.2 out..3 out, ist pitch

  36. After JJ blows the save in the 9th, Markakis successfully executes a hit and run, doubling to right center to tie it.

  37. Bottom 9…Braves 4 Pirates 5…wow

    Watson pitching, 10/11 in saves…Peterson at the plate leading off…K’s, one out…Ender up, beats out infield single for 3rd hit…still one out, BP up…flies out to center, 2 out, Nick up…CHIP CALLED IT!!!…Nick to RC, Ender scores…

    Amazing…Jackson gets first ML win…Adams 3 hits on the night…please note all three hits in the 9th which took us from defeat to victory were by left handers…against a very tough LHP who was 10/11.

    Good morning to all, as Chip has just said.

    My apologies to whoever is going to recap this game – i assumed you would likely not be up to see all this…i was drinking gin and tonic so had an obvious advantage…forgive me.

    What a f—–g team. It’s 2am . There’s still an inch in my glass. It will not be wasted.

  38. Well done Blazon. Makes me feel like I was there.

    Great win. Very happy for Adams.

  39. We are lucky to be alive during the Matt Adams Era. Future generations of Braves fans will surely be envious as we regale them of tales of 2am hijinks at the STP.

  40. 43—Cumberland is hitting .225 but has an OBP of .441.

    22 walks and 20 hits, 12 of which (seven doubles, five homers) were for extra bases.


  41. Cumberland must be working on his pitch selection. And when he gets it, he hits the holy hell out of it.

  42. In July, we should flip Flowers, call up Recker, call up Scivicque to AAA, Jackson to AA, and Cumberland to A+. I’ll be your GM all week, folks.

  43. He passed through waivers and was assigned to AAA. Blake Lalli was then released.

  44. I’m watching the Twins right now and Ervin was interviewed about his shutout win last night. I haven’t seen a lot of Santana since he left Atlanta. Listening to him, what a great guy. Wasn’t he the baseball sniffer?

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