The way this game went we looked over matched in the opening innings. Hill struck out the side in the 1st, Freddie on 3 pitches, and Julio’s poor control put us down 2 early.So thoughts of three in a row were set aside for the realists.

But then Julio settled down and went through to start the sixth with no more damage. Meanwhile we had taken charge of the top of the 5th and put up two run of our own. So midway things were even and at that point you fancied our chances. Why not?

But then. We entered the world of cue ball baseball and some pretty atrocious luck. Dodgers got single runs in the 6th and 7th that both hinged around freakish miscues but one of them we gifted when Julio fielded it, made a great throw to the plate, Flowers caught it, dropped it.

Up 2 the Dodgers padded with two more in the 8th and ended with a comfortable 6-2 win. They finished much the stronger, hit three home runs to our none, the better team on the night won. We were just getting greedy, that’s all.

Let’s look at some individual performances:

Julio…poor start, same old same old with left handed hitters and high pitches. But plenty to like with how he picked himself up, regained control and played with enthusiastic gusto throughout. This was his first road loss of the year – he carried himself well.

Swanson…he must go down and now…as bad as it is for us to watch just imagine the confidence shredding that’s going on inside. He should be told he will stay there till September, so just relax and relearn. Chipper?

Sean R…got his first hit, great but he’s a luxury we can’t afford – half of our infield is non-productive and defensively suspect. I’m aware this is a touchy situation for the FO but you dreamed it up, honorably, you sort it out.

Camargo…yes please…wish there was a bit more elevation in those line drives but who would dare mess with what he’s doing. He lifts my spirits when he comes to the plate, love watching him in the field. 2 more doubles, ho hum.

Matt Kemp…time to say something positive about this guy’s defense. I can remember just 2 errors in the last few weeks – neither was a dropped catch, both were rebounds coming off the wall back at him that he bobbled. His catching of fly balls and line drives has been exemplary culminating tonight in a wonderful flat out effort. Much too easy to be cynical about this guy, give it up.


So, it’s a Saturday night but a loss. There haven’t been too many of these. A Country Requiem I like from someone also new to me. Thanks for the company.

143 thoughts on “Dodgers 6, Braves 2…WE COULDA BEEN A CONTENDA”

  1. Thanx for the insightful recap wrapped around the classic Brando “On the Waterfront” comment. Wish our FO would be as honest in their player evaluations as you are. I realize that every day someone here cites MiLB stats to opine that Johan Camargo is playing way over his head — I’m in the “looks like Martin Prado” camp myself — but it’s just inspirational fun baseball watching this determined underrated guy outplay all the touted hotshot youngsters.

  2. Thanks, blazon. I saw John Moreland in concert about a month ago. Powerful songs, powerful presence.

  3. I remember an interview with Chipper a couple of years ago when he was asked about who he was impressed with in the minor league spring training camp and the first person he mentioned was Camargo. I remember thinking “what does he see that no one else seems to see” as at the time, no one was talking about Camargo as a top prospect. In fact, no one was talking about him at all!

  4. I’m excited for Camargo. He’s hitting the ball hard and with some lift. The average will almost certainly come down, but a few more should end up in the seats.

    He’s quick with a strong arm, so he can be valuable without hitting like this. Also, he’s 23.

  5. I was at the game last night. First time in Dodger Stadium (well, for a game; I saw Guns ‘n Roses there last year). Got some really great seats on the front row of the upper deck between home and first for $14/each on Stub Hub.

    Things I noticed:

    • I was surprised how ear-splitting the volume was from the PA in centerfield. Jarred with the old school ambiance of Dodger Stadium.

    • Lots of Braves fans turned out, that was nice to see. Jerseys spotted: multiple Murphys, a Deion Sanders, a Cox and lots of Jones (mostly Chipper, some Andruw). Strangely, the only pitcher I saw represented by a jersey was Kimbrel.

    • Dodger Dogs very mediocre. Beer severely overpriced.

    • Sightlines were better than I thought they’d be, since DS is known for its ample foul territory.

    • It was easy and cheap to Uber in and Uber out of the game.

    As for the game action, Dansby looked lousy, Johan did not. Exhilarating plays by Kemp laying out for that fly ball in the corner and Julio making a great play on that squibber down the third base line were awesome. Seeing the Dodgers somehow bash a grounder through the shift not once but twice (or was it three times?) was lame, as was T-Flo botching that wonderfully executed bit of defense from his pitcher. No matter what, I can say I was in the crowd for Sean Rodriguez’ first hit of 2017.

    A good night at the ballpark even though the Bravos lost. No Braves fans were murdered in the parking lot, thankfully.

  6. @3, My gut feeling is that Chipper’s baseball IQ is through the roof. That’s why I was happy to float the conspiracy theory that the Braves were maneuvering him to be their next manager after Fredi. I was wrong about that, but I still think he’d be pretty good at the job. Or maybe Assistant to the General Manager?

  7. We definitely could be over-inflating Chipper’s scouting ability because of what he meant to his era of Bravesdom, but I remember him also having great things to say about Acuna. He also really liked Dansby, but that’s pretty easy considering his pedigree. But just this past offseason, the prospect rankings people weren’t completely sold on Acuna. I know that I’m quite happy that he’s decided to stay within the organization and lend his name, stature, expertise, and coaching ability. Smoltz and Glavine went into broadcasting, and so far, Maddux has been more into UNLV for very good reasons. Nice to retain one of the legends in a helpful capacity. Murph, though, has also been a part of the team as well.

    Lucas Sims’ last 7 starts:

    7 GS, 49.1 IP, 3.28 ERA, 14 BB, 62 K, 1.07 WHIP, .216 BAA

    Wisler has also had a similarly strong string of starts over his last 10 or so. Even Medlen’s last 3 have been strong: 6 IP, 2 ER, 5 K; 7 IP, 3 ER, 7 K; 5 IP, 0 ER, 4 K

    If and when Garcia gets traded, we definitely won’t be left with nothing.

  8. Divine Right of Kings
    one of History’s more contentious flings
    ignored and forgotten when we lump
    idiosyncratic tendencies of many a backyard ump.

    Kevin Maitan
    you should now judge his girth while you can
    no future shortstop he, those thighs
    in place to lift sad sinkers to the skies.

    Clayton Ker-shaw
    we believe that we saw
    a man tremblin’
    the Braves will soon be ressemblin’.

  9. Pardon my language but Camargo is what I call a red as* player. He’s a little edgy, a little mad, a little mean.

    He plays the game in a ‘tough’ way. You need guys like that.

  10. @6
    John R…
    Always great when someone who was there sets the scene, thank you. The extra dimension.

  11. My son who lives in LA was at Friday’s game, wearing his Braves gear. Good game to go to as a Braves fan!
    He points out what I’ve also observed when I’ve been there. Although Dodger Stadium is a delightful place to watch a baseball game in most respects, fan behavior remains problematic. The wave and the beach balls often occupy more fan attention than the game. And the leaving early to beat the traffic is notorious. There is a great clip of Skip commenting on the car lights in the parking lot in the 7th inning, although I can’t find it at the moment.

  12. @12, Yeah…the paper airplanes were amusing at first, then quickly got obnoxious. And I hate the wave. They were doing it late in the game with their team only up 4-2. Didn’t get that. Plus there was a dude behind us cursing like a sailor, loudly in conversation with people seated all around him, lots of F bombs, despite lots of children around – one of them a three-year old sitting next to him in his care. Some people! But nobody seemed to mind. LA for ya.

    As far as traffic, I think Uber is the way. They had a pretty efficient lot set up for getting in and out.

  13. uber me to the ballpark
    uber me to the drop
    if i bought him some peanuts and crackerjack
    he wouldn’t care if he ever came back
    so its still misogyny’s home base
    your wife stays home if she’s plain
    then it’s one, two, three strikes HE’S OUT
    of the old male game.

  14. Tweaked something, finished the inning.

    Didn’t look that bad but I think he’s done for the day.

  15. Jeez Louise, make them put the ball in play already.

    I may have been wrong about making them hit it.

  16. Can Newcomb go back to the minors and Garcia be traded and we bring up Sims and Medlen (or Albers)?

    Newcomb is averaging 7 BB per nine innings over his last 5 starts.

    edit and now a HR after 2 BB’s, yeah I’m done with the Newcomb experience.

  17. I was pleasantly surprised when his periphs were not out of control. Now they are. That inning was classic Newcomb. Walk, walk, homer. FIP’s dream. C’mon man, you gotta give your defense a chance.

    Is a 5+ ERA in 40 innings enough of a sample size for demotion? I’d probably say no, but if he has two more starts like this, you gotta let him work on his control issues at AAA.

  18. Flowers should just set up down the middle for every Newcomb pitch. Let Sean try to hit the target, and when he invariably doesn’t, it’ll be a decent location.

  19. Also, if Matt Adams isn’t going to play every day then he needs to be traded right away. This lineup is a lot weaker when he’s out.

  20. @20

    He was working on it down there. It wasn’t working. Everybody says there doesn’t appear to be anything wrong with his mechanics. I don’t think anybody knows how to fix it.

  21. We haven’t hit a ball hard all day. Just one of those days. Maybe we can somehow get to Jansen in the 9th.

  22. As maddening as it was for Newcomb to go walk walk homer, 6 innings and 3 runs is about as good as we get from anybody
    Oh yeah.. Rodriguez is useless

  23. Just saw the final play on the Internet cast. Can someone explain why we didn’t intentionally walk Forsythe to load the bases?

  24. Markakis has the worst OPS of the regulars if you count Camargo. Really not tracking why he’s in the middle of so many rallies. Plus, he’s OBP-heavy, and that doesn’t help you as much that deep in the lineup.

  25. Price is mentally weak and never has and never will pitch to his paycheck in a big game. I believe it.

  26. Joey Wentz
    will often pitch well, then he vents
    at that point his xFIP
    is adjusted, again, to not where he wants it to be.

  27. @ 39

    Load the broadcasters first
    and praised be he who was the one that cursed
    out with the cards and the cash
    ignore at once the aging, lackeyd trash.

  28. come fly with me
    let’s take the Red Sox plane
    we can always use
    some exotic booze
    to see them fight again

    come fly with me
    let’s quite ignore the Eck
    at eighty one
    he’s just begun
    to see he looks a wreck
    its perfect for a flying holiday they say
    come fly with me let’s fly the Red Sox way.

  29. Oh Vanderbilt
    what has thou spilt
    upon this lovely game
    we’ll try and hide
    your ugly side
    until it shows again.

  30. 39—Seems like it probably is, given the lack of uproar in the places I’d expect to see some if it weren’t true. Suboptimal…


    Astute observers will have noticed that every early morning after a game and subsequent comments the previous evening there is understandably a kind of quiet zombie like period awaiting the recap for that game from an often clearly overworked and harried scribe.

    When it does come then BOOM all that preceded it in the early am hours is pixie dust and gone forever from the eyes of he who will be more than happy with that fresh update. Like beauty, our earlier lines are transient. So we indulge in them at times, waiting for the portcullis to come down. You make the call, today was/is an extreme example, enjoy each recap as i do. Thank you and thanks to Alex who has for now got me on a long leash. I would love for others to join me in this hallowed hour, please do put up what you want.

    Some of this stuff is now quite good. With your participation it could be a great deal better. Thanks to all. Comment any time.

  32. sigmundc, thanks for that link, it was very interesting. Based on that info, you have to feel for Eckersley. I guess being blunt is not generally going to be well received by players, but some of the stunts Sox players have pulled on him seem to be out of line (especially when dealing, literally, with a hall of famer).

  33. @52 Professional athletes are generally some of the most sensitive people out there. It doesn’t surprise me even a little bit as I recall a Harbaugh/Esiason scuffle over some blunt words and hurt feelings. I think it’s a symptom of perceived lawlessness, because what’s the worst punishment that will come of their bullying?

  34. @53, they also know that 9/10 times the organization will ultimately side with the current player. I wouldn’t be shocked if Eckersley is fired or ‘reassigned’ because of this, even though he has done NOTHING wrong.

  35. @53, pro athletes are, by and large, enormous douches. This is a douch-on-douche crime. There’s no victim here. Lol.

  36. Thanks, blazon.

    I’m not sure how many games this will influence between now and the end of the season, but you have to look at putting Vizcaino in the closer’s spot. I’d rather deal with his issues than Johnson’s overall lack of producing 1-2-3 innings.

    There is reason to believe JJ will improve. His 2.53 FIP is an improvement over even last year, so he potentially has been a little unlucky. (See, I don’t hate FIP! I just don’t know how long you keep someone in the closer’s role just because his periphs are sound.)

    Sadly, both Dirks and Minter have struggled the past few weeks in AAA, so there’s no one really begging for a call-up in AAA. At some point, you have to look at giving Akeel Morris some more high leverage situations. He’s only pitched once in the last 6 days.

    And yes, I probably over-reacted on Newcomb, and his overall line wasn’t bad. He was literally a few inches away from giving up no runs on the day. But 5 walks in 6 innings is going to produce more crooked numbers than he can afford to give up. He’s still a big improvement over Bartolo.

  37. Oh, and just your periodic reminder that we only have about $90M committed to next year’s team, and that includes about 22 players from the current roster. And that includes monies that you would imagine would be removed if you improved that position over its incumbent (RF, #1 rotation spot). So the hope for an elite team in 2018 doesn’t have to rest on who is doing well at AAA. Lots of coin is available to throw at repairs and improvements.

  38. @56, re: Newcomb … the K/9 is worth some patience. We don’t have tons of arms like that in our system. He was one foot away from giving up no runs. I’m not going to pretend that he’s not frustrating to watch, but you’d take 6 IP and 3 R against the Dodgers pretty much every time.

    Take Bartolo and JJ off the opening day roster and we might be 5 games over .500 right now. Closer is a luxury, until it’s not.

  39. Or to put it in context we were ecstatic about Garcia’s 7IP, 3R game against these same Dodgers.

  40. @58

    I think if we had a better bench with a handcuff for Dansby, we would be in the wild card race.

  41. I’m not worried about Newcomb. His stuff is there and the control will come around. Dansby, on the other hand…

  42. Apologies for the lack of recap, I was traveling last night and thought I could do it this morning and excuses, excuses.

    Meanwhile, from Carnac the Magnificent, here’s the funniest thing I ever heard about Los Angeles. Answer: Catch-22. Question: What do the Los Angeles Dodgers do with 100 pop flies.


  43. Atlanta Braves
    ✔ ‎@Braves

    The #Braves have acquired RHP Huascar Ynoa from the Twins for LHP Jaime García, C Anthony Recker and cash considerations. Details:

    5:15 PM – 24 Jul 2017

  44. Salary dump. Hooray. This is exactly the kind of move you’d make if you were serious about winning – so serious that your star 1B moves to 3B to give you a better shot.

    Why bother?

  45. I liked Burdi better. But whatever. These scouts know pitching. Sounds to me like the right handed version of Ricardo Sanchez.

    Now we can sort through some of this AAA pitching.

  46. @63 As previously stated by myself many times before, this organization for all the good it tries to do, because of money, is a joke.

    What a craptastic, awful trade.

  47. I think the Twins are paying all of Garcia’s salary. The pitching prospect is a 19 year old that’s in his 3rd year of rookie ball. The longest of longshots. This is about freeing up more money to go after frontline starters. I think. I dunno. I can’t begin to explain half the stuff our FO does.

  48. I would say Ynoa’s roughly equivalent, value-wise, to the package they gave up for Garcia — and they got more than half a season of good production from Garcia, too. Not an amazing flip or anything, but it’s fine.

    I just hope they didn’t do it so that they can now flip Albies for Gray…

  49. Yeah there’s more moves to come, this is just a setup piece. I hope. My best-case scenario is a deal where we give up nothing but cash.

  50. Huascar Ynoa
    you ask are you a thrower
    those back of the rotation
    rarely achieve a more flattering gradation.

  51. “Freeing up money to make a run at a controllable starter” is disingenuous though. You aren’t getting that without giving up prospects. Will Albies ever play for the MLB Braves?

  52. Good salary dump … they werent gonna sign Garcia next year anyway …. the kid must have some good stuff .. he has struck out 7 or 8 a few times this year … so maybe he just needs a little time ..if he doesnt pan out .. then you saved 4 mil .. no big deal .

    @61 – Dansby looks very confused … they need to get him down to Gwinnett and let him work it out .. he is loosing confidence daily being in front of so many people ..TV etc … let him go down and work .. get some confidence .. who would they bring up to backup SS ??? Jace Peterson ???

  53. Allard got rocked last night .. guess he is getting tired .. he is not that big of a kid …. looks Soroka is best bet right now as far as young kids …. Gohara too … too soon for Wright and Anderson ….

  54. Forgot about Sims … I say give him a shot before Medlin for Garcia’s spot .. ahead of Blair and Wisler .. they have had their chance

  55. Sonny Gray chatter is starting to pick up. Good luck in Oakland, Ozzie. We’ll be watching your progress with interest, while we continue on our mission to collect as many Vanderbilt players as possible onto the same team.

  56. I still don’t see anything wrong with the theory that the Braves were allowed to expand the opening day payroll beyond budget because they planned to dump off salary as the season went along. Does it really matter when they pay out the money?

    With that said, we’re still only at $90M for next season, though admittedly, that doesn’t include arb raises for Folty, Vizcaino, and Suzuki. They just cleared payroll this season. If they could clear Markakis’ salary, they could easily add enough talent through payroll to move the needle. And we could easily put together a quantity package to get a Verlander akin to some of the deals we received for Kimbrel, JUpton, and Gattis where we received no elite prospects but plenty of good prospects. Verlander is owed $28M for each of 2018 and 2019, and even with his down year, he still has a higher WAR than any of our starters. He’s downright transcendent if he can get anywhere close to his 6.6 WAR 2016 season. With that said, he’s 34.

    They’re running out of spots to not put an elite player. The elite player has to be in the rotation. And even Gray is, in my opinion, not even that player.

  57. Keep Albies, include Swanson in any deal for a starter. Better yet, include neither and ride out the year with what you have and the kiddie corps.

  58. At this point I would call up Sims and see what he gives you in 10-12 starts BUT be committed to some salary add on via FA/trade in the offseason for real this time.

    Verlander to me would be a bit foolish, Gray less so.

  59. Verlander would be perfect, but I’m not getting my hopes up.

    LOL at including Swanson in a deal.

  60. If Ozzie has to go, I’d rather have Verlander than Gray. Don’t want to see him traded though, even if all we end up with is Poor Man’s Furcal.

  61. Gray is scheduled to pitch tomorrow. I think he makes the start Wednesday in Arizona. I’m excited

  62. Ozzie does not HAVE to go…beware the self fulfilling prophecy.
    One thing does not necessarily have to lead to a specific other.
    Why pick out the least attractive option?
    Peraza Peraza..Ozzie will bite us.
    Do whatever you must do some other way.

  63. Danny Santana leading off tonight.

    This is the first game all season Ender hasn’t started and led off, right?

  64. I’m not wetting my pants but I just get tired of every transaction being money based. We should hopefully someday be in a position where 4.5M just isn’t a factor, and lets face it, it now is. And will be for the foreseeable future.

    I abhor Liberty Media.

  65. The reason Verlander would be perfect is that he wouldn’t (shouldn’t…) cost Albies.

  66. Chief, I’d say that it’s a money transaction if the savings aren’t used. I’m assuming that money goes to a bullpen or starter upgrade.

    Also, I’d like to try and bring Garcia back this offseason

  67. @92
    I have a bit of a crush on Santana…he has surprised us more than once with what he can do.

    let it be him then…what’s the rush, we have twenty pitchers one of whom would logically be as good as Verlander in 14 months.

  68. I like the clearing money for a front-line starter theory better than the giving up theory, but would it not be possible to trade Garcia after the trade is a completed?

  69. Verlander would cost Albies and others. If we’re allowed to dream then let’s get Fulmer too and give Detroit a bunch of our pitching suspects.

  70. Heyman was just on MLB Network talking about Manny Machado to Atlanta. Said the Braves could give up Albies and 3 top pitching prospects, then they put the top 100 guys on the screen. So we’re talking Albies, Allard, Soroka, and Fried, or something. But he says, “and if things go badly, you can sell him off next deadline for 75 cents on the dollar.”

    1) Uhh, no. That trade is not worth a year and a half of Machado.
    2) That looks a lot like the Teixeira trade, and you didn’t sell Tex for 75 cents on the dollar, and you ain’t selling Machado next deadline for 75 cents on the dollar. More like 25 cents. You factor in a 2/3 shorter term and distress and you end up with a really crappy deal on the back end.
    3) I’d rather just wait.

  71. 100—Verlander is not worth his contract. He would cost less than Albies, even if the Tigers chipped in a good bit of money. To get Albies in the deal, the Tigers would have to pay like $25 million per year of his salary.

    101—Well, now I feel gross. I’ve been thinking for a while that Machado makes a lot of sense as a target for the Braves, but if Heyman is saying something about it, I know I must be way off.

  72. We traded a current middle/back of a rotation guy for a guy would could develop into a back of the rotation guy or bullpen JAG in 4-5 years.

    Makes sense…

  73. I’m kinda meh on the trade. Traded for a lottery ticket and an opening in the rotation for one of our young starters at Gwinnett.

  74. I predict about a 2-8 run here for los Bravos. Veterans will love that Freddie moved to third so that we could sell a pitcher that just hit a GS and pitched a masterful game against the LAD in order to get a ~20 year old in Rookie ball with a 5+ ERA. When we were within sniffing distance of the WC.

  75. Yeah, I’m sure the vets are that weak. “They traded a guy who’s been my teammate for four months; I don’t have it in me to try anymore.” — Definitely seems to fit with the attitude they’ve shown this year.

  76. @103, Verlander is going to stay put unless they get a prospect haul. They need young talent more than money.

  77. 111—They could get a nice pitching prospect or two. No way the Braves (or anyone) give up an Albies and pay anywhere close to Verlander’s contract.

  78. They might find someone to give more elite prospects for Verlander and cash, but I don’t think that’ll be us.

    Frederick Freeman is a good 3B and the world needs to know it!

  79. The players have enough sense to wait until the deadline before going on a pouty losing streak. They’re aware there could be more deals coming. If the calendar turns to August and all the front office has done is trade major league pieces for hopeless prospects and cash, then you’re right, they’ll probably go in the tank. Or they’ll get super pissed off, a la “Major League,” and actually win the second wild card. One of those two.

    And no, this shitty performance by a knuckleball pitcher and a catcher trying to catch a knuckleball pitcher does not mean that the team has already gone in the tank. It means that Dickey didn’t have control of his knuckleball tonight.

  80. That was clubbed, but the second-most entertaining thing on that play was Freddie repeatedly throwing sunflower seeds in his mouth while looking like a weirdo.

  81. @119

    I agree with that analogy insofar as the fan freakout, but I don’t agree with it at all insofar as the players involved. There was zero chance that Constanza was better than or equal to Heyward over the long-term. (Even with what Heyward became, there’s still no question that he’s always been better than Constanza.) There’s a significant chance that Camargo is better than or equal to Dansby long-term. It may not be probable, but it’s well within the realm of possible. Camargo is, himself, something of a prospect. He’s not a 4A outfielder who never did anything having a hot month, who the manager likes because he can make himself seem like a genius by batting him ninth for no apparent reason.

  82. I don’t so much have a problem with Wisler right now. He’s been pitching well at AAA and he’s being asked to work under tough conditions.

  83. It would help if he ever didn’t pitch like utter garbage while pitching in the major leagues. Yeah, he got a crap sandwich. Doesn’t change the fact that he sucks. Same goes for Blair.

  84. @129 went about 2 minutes before its idiocy was exposed. Poor guy. I hope there’s a positive turn to his career.

  85. @132

    We have been talking about Dansby’s similar crap sandwich to exercise patience…

  86. I’d rather give Blair and Wisler 15 starts than trade for Gray or whoever. Throw Sims in the mix too. Let them learn. That’s what this season should have been about.

  87. Fifteen starts of Wisler and Blair learning look very much like you’re seeing right now. There’s no point. They’re no longer learning. They just suck.

    I don’t have a problem with calling Sims up for awhile, though I still maintain that a frontline starter is an absolute must either now or in the offseason. Doesn’t mean that Sims couldn’t also be in the rotation, though. We might trade Teheran or Dickey or whoever, for instance.

  88. Yeah…I just feel bad for Wisler at this point. It doesn’t seem his stuff plays up in the bullpen, but I’d wonder if he could pick up a few mph by turning into a one inning guy and then dumping the change up. The slider plays at the big league level.

    Nick Markakis has a negative WAR this year.

  89. We can build a farm but still can’t build a real 25 man roster. Why are Wisler and Krol stil getiing innings?

  90. Our position player prospects are better than our pitching prospects, imo. I don’t want to trade them, I want to watch them play.

    I don’t know how we field a competitive rotation next year, but I’m pretty sure the solution needs to involve at least one of the guys that y’all are already giving up on.

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