THE SAME RIVER, TWICE……………………… Braves 3 Phils 4


Well, the same result but by a different route. That book title came to mind last night watching the dispiriting performance we put up and being unable to see how we could avoid a repetition 24 hours later. We couldn’t as it turned out but at least we gave them a competitive game,  leading all evening and taking it into the ninth.

Our downfall tonight was hitting, specifically with RISP and,  more so, with the bases loaded and, yet again, with bases loaded in two of those, and nobody out. Three measly singles was all…

‘I wonder, wonder who

wonder who

who wrote the book of love’      Tonight, not me.


but what about tomorrow?



Will we?

The positives. A good outing from Sean Newcomb, walk free until he started to tire in the 4th carrying on into the 5th which he still completed with a 3-1 lead and standing to be the winning pitcher, his first. It took a protracted hour or so of mild agony before he sadly lost that status. 5IP 1R 1ER 3BB 4K. Hey, I was proud of him. Bullpen problems again followed – Ramirez was fine for the 6th and 7th, Vizcaino and Johnson each gave up the crucial single runs that tied it in the 9th. After Freeman pitched an excellent blank 10th Brothers have up 3 hits in the 11th, the last being the winning walk off one that counted. A very mixed bag of pitching then but that wasn’t why we lost the game.

Here’s some numbers for our hitters. 1 for 14, RISP. We left 10 men in scoring position, Sean R 4 of them. He, Freddie and Matt Adams were 0 for 13 between them. Ender, Phillips, Flowers and Markakis both had good games at the plate. Defensively Ender made one marvelous, long crossfield run to catch a big ball. And we got a most unexpected bonus for the future – two terrific picks by Freddie at the hot corner, one of which produced the solitary double play.

But here’s the single play that likely cost us the game – from the dugout. Markakis gets on base with one out in the top of the tenth with his third hit of the night. And stands there. Start screaming at the TV – LANE ADAMS, LANE ADAMS, FFS. Repeat many times over, to no avail. Eventually Sean R gets to a full count with Markakis still at 1st , one out, and Snit puts on the hit and run. Sean strikes out, they get Nick at 2nd, DP. It should have been Lane Adams on base in this spot not Nick.  Adams is a disrupter par excellence first, and a hit or miss slugger a poor second. He is a menace on the bases. Particularly with no one out .. When Snit finally acceded to bring him on it was as a pinch hitter, later, and of course if you do it that way he has to hit himself on. Which he failed to do. 3 pitches, K.

We will reverse the flow of the Dodger series and sweep the final two, afternoon, games. We better.


This book of short stories is by the Eastern Kentucky writer Chris Offutt who was born and raised there, left three times, came back twice.

90 thoughts on “THE SAME RIVER, TWICE……………………… Braves 3 Phils 4”

  1. You weren’t the only one yelling for Lane Adams. Usually can’t blane the skipper for the losses given the dispiriting hand he has been dealt, but last night you could see all the wrong moves coming in predictable fashion. And hey — thanks for the Monotones reference.

  2. Missed opportunities: if there is no such thing as clutch, why does choke seem so real?

    Thank you for the recap, bard.

  3. @4
    Appears the Twins did. We won’t use the extra money and they got a better prospect

  4. @4 It’s hard to view the trade objectively considering the fire it has lit under this team.

    @5 They’ll use the money, maybe not on the Braves, but they’ll use it.

  5. @7

    Well done.

    The key prospect in the Yankee deal will be Rule-5 eligible this offseason, so while he’s closer to the majors, that’s the trade-off that the Braves can’t do. We will have another 40-man crunch this offseason, and I think this is fueling some of the aggressive promotions. Need to figure out what they have before it’s too late.

  6. @4/5

    Huascar Ynoa pitched 4 innings for Danville yesterday, 1 run, 6K. Clearly Coppy has unearthed another gem, y’noa?

    Also at Danville KM’s 0 for 3 brought him right down to the Mendoza line. 2 K’s plus a throwing error. Time to heed our earlier request for a full medical report, y’noa?

  7. The Braves’ return made more sense than the Twins’. At this point, the Braves don’t need another high minors but unproven prospect. We have plenty of those. Getting someone farther down the system also helps them stagger some of the development timelines.

    The Braves HAVE to make a change at closer. Seriously, we’ve been walked off on twice by the freaking Phillies this year. 8 blown saves. Quite literally, how is that not low hanging fruit? If anything, letting Vizzy rack up 12-15 saves before the end of the year. It was a nice idea. See if you can flip Johnson, but I think they have to acknowledge that he’s not a closer.

  8. Further excitement at Danville, late last night

    Ray,She, and all Michel, after a 2/3 day at the plate, all went to the movies.

    Naturally they saw Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice.

  9. just remember we gave away David Hernandez because Motte had worse numbers but impressed more to our scouts.

  10. Pinch running is a luxury with a 4 man bench. It’s hard to look at our bullpen and fathom that there is not a one of those 8 relievers that we cannot do without.

  11. I think krusell @20 answers what Ender was thinking.

    edit: disregard that, ron washington was waving him in

  12. It was kind of a no-look throw; I think he’d have made it back. No way for Ender to know that though.

  13. Joe’s taking no prisoners today. First umpiring paragon Angel Hernandez and then the Braves stellar defensive backstops have borne his ire. I agree. Both suck.

    Crotchety old men must stick together.

  14. I find Joe (and Chip) so annoying, I stopped listening to them. The audio overlay with the other grumpy guy and Lemke, who sounds drunk, is not much better though.

  15. BY FAR, the most frustrating thing about this season has been our utter incompetence against not only the worst team in baseball, but our freaking in-division rival. My gosh, man, beat these losers like a drum. There are just so many completely avoidable things this year that could have made us a playoff team this year. This is one of them.

  16. I’m 100 percent with Rob on this. I don’t know if beating the Phillies in the manner that we should’ve this season would’ve made us a playoff team if everything else had gone the same, but I do know that not doing so is absurdly infuriating.

  17. I don’t think it is a coincidence that the overall terrible play lately started when sean rodriguez was called up prematurely from the minors.

  18. Flirting with .500 takes a healthy Kemp, healthy Phillips, and catchers hitting out of their minds. When those thing revert to predictions we are the 90 loss team everyone had us at.

  19. The overall terrible play has been result of the following:

    1) Yes, Rodriguez has been bad.
    2) Yes, Nocahoma, I think trading Garcia for money has a subtle, intangible effect on the team. It just does. How do you expect players to read that you’re giving an important start in July to Aaron freaking Blair? I still like him, but you don’t need to be starting him because you just did the equivalent of selling a player to Japan.
    3) Our pen completely sucks, especially the closer. There are games we’d have easily won if the pen could keep teams off the board throughout the game, not just the 9th.
    4) Adams and Flowers have come back to earth. Flowers has a .716 OPS in July, and Adams carries a .737 OPS in the same period.
    5) Kemp probably has even worse defense than he had before, had a .642 OPS in July, and is now injured (and probably was for a while).
    6) And while the bench is improved from Worst Bench in Baseball, we still just don’t have the horses to spell our regulars with good production. While there was a debut over what to do with Dansby, at the end of the day, it had worked out to Camargo was the starting shortstop and Dansby was a really bad bench bat.

    Am I missing anything?

  20. Markakis is sub replacement level and we have one reliable starting pitcher. It’s frankly amazing that we’re not 20 games under.

  21. I’d say freddie coming back down to earth, he hasnt been the same since he jammed his wrist on a base a while ago.

    Seems like a lot of his balls are staying on the warning track/wall instead of going out like at the start of the year

  22. But we have an all star first and third baseman. Thing is, they’re the same person.

  23. @38 it’s like it messed up the chemistry or something. That plus he continues to get playing time when he inept both offensively and defensively

  24. “Sean Rodriguez is a great story … car accident … yada yada …” … so sayeth the media.

    That’s all well and good, but he was crap at Gwinnett. He never should have been called up. All I hear in my mind is Bob Barker’s words in “Happy Gilmore”: “This guy sucks!”

    I care not for good stories. I want good ballplayers.

    Far from the only problem, just the one that is nagging at me the most. Well, that, and Swanson not playing every day to the point where he had to be sent down. And Jim Johnson. And Matt Kemp’s Yoda-esque mobility (the prequels don’t count). And Aaron Blair continuing to pitch professionally for a baseball team in this hemisphere.

    Now, even a remote chance of the playoffs is gone, and yes, I would prefer not to lose 90 again, but you want to be bad enough to get a top-10 draft pick so you at least have the chance to supplement this lot in free agency without sacrificing a first-rounder. Of course, this team probably won’t be able to do that right, likely turning 89 losses into 83 when all is said and done.

  25. @42

    Starting pitching is definitely up there. Folty’s been the only guy that has really lived up to billing, and even he has his moments. Dickey’s been alright, I guess. The rest have either entirely sucked or mostly sucked.

  26. LOL…that’s an absolutely absurd refusal to overturn a call. One of the most ridiculous I’ve seen yet.

  27. I’m convinced that instant replay will not work unless the arbiters at the replay offices in New York and San Francisco are not MLB umpires.

    This is far from the first time they have ridiculously refused to overturn a call or gotten it wrong. I suspect they occasionally try to sabotage the system to protect their own.

  28. All umpiring problems come down to the presence of umpires. As a lot they are fragile, egotistical babies and utterly worthless. The sooner we can render them obsolete, the better.

  29. To channel Chip Caray, let’s see if we can drive in a freaking run from scoring position and avoid crapping the bed again against the worst team in the league.

  30. I hope Carmago is not starting to turn into a pumpkin. That makes for a lot of jack o lanterns at the bottom with he and Rodriguez

  31. Lately, the starting pitching has been mostly OK. Newcomb is not going deep enough into ballgames, at all, but with the state of starting pitching across the league, he’s been fine. Folty, Dickey, and Garcia have been good enough. Teheran has been terrible, and this is as bad of a stretch as he’s ever had, and it’s the longest stretch that he’s struggled. Something’s definitely wrong with Teheran.

    No one expected the rotation to be a top third deal. We signed the vets to be better than the worst pitching team in baseball last year, and that’s worked out on the aggregate. It’s been the unexpected combustion of pitchers who had 4.8 and 3.4 WAR seasons last year (Teheran and Colon, respectively) that has really hurt. But Dickey is on pace to match his 2013-2015 performance, Folty is leading the staff in WAR, and Garcia was on pace for his 3rd highest WAR total for his career.

  32. Any chance we can blame Teherans struggles on the WBC and that weird spring schedule?

  33. @58

    Well, the overall terrible play started when Garcia left, so now you’ve replaced him with Aaron Blair. Best case scenario (assuming we don’t trade for a starter in the next couple days) is that we call up Lucas Sims to replace Blair. So the best case scenario involves a pitcher who’s never thrown a major league pitch. That’s a significant downgrade from Garcia and gives us one reliable starter and one semi-reliable starter. And the semi-reliable is a knuckleball pitcher, meaning you know that one out of every five starts is gonna result in him just getting shellacked and giving you no chance to win. And even the reliable still has a tendency to play head games with himself.

  34. Hooray! We still don’t have a hit with runners in scoring position, but at least we scored somehow!

    For the record, I approve of sending the runner with the infield in there. Gotta make something happen.

  35. So apparently JJ isn’t the closer today, but obviously can still lose this for us

  36. We get base runners. Only those that touch home matter. We get few of those lately. Weren’t we averaging close to six runs a game a week or so ago? What happened to our offense?

    Poor R.A., but we deserved to lose.

  37. The Phillies barely even seemed to be celebrating that. I guess even they know they basically performed the equivalent of dunking on a 6-year-old.

  38. Burn it all to the ground. Well, not all of it. Just the major-league level. Evacuate Freddie, Ender, Matt Adams (trade value in December), Suzuki, Newcomb, Folty and Vizzy. The rest? I’m good.

  39. @81, beginning to think its time for Hart and Coppy to go down as well.

    We need a completely new approach.

    Caveat: The REAL problem though is money. They’re trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear and it won’t work.

  40. After a couple weeks of above-average optimism, Bravesjournal has regressed to the moan.

  41. If it’s any consolation, we’re gonna be worse next year. Stay the course. Trust the process.

  42. @82

    This is true. Nothing gets truly fixed until Liberty sells. And in regards to that, don’t hold your breath.

  43. I’d like to say something about Kurt Suzuki in the game today. Not in hero mode knocking back to back homers. But scrabbling in the dirt for three and a half hours of a razor tight ballgame trying first to contain the Dickey knuckler which was in inspired, fractious form for all of 7 innings – then JJ looking almost ghostlike trying to pitch out the 8th and throwing the ball up, down,left,right, allover. Followed by Brothers throwing everything hard into the dirt followed by the coup de grace of Akeel without his usual control, the game withering away.

    There were a ton of wild pitches and, ostensibly more personally, passed balls. I don’t care how many of each the scorer ascribed or which was called which – each demanded acrobatic defense, maximum physical exertion. And those were the multitude that didn’t get away. I couldn’t take my eyes off him, what he was putting out for the team in all nine innings. I want to thank him.

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