A Phils/Barves Game As You Might Expect

11-2. That’s not the record the Dodgers have against the Phillies. That’s the record the Phillies have against us. They’re 31-67 against everyone else, but they’ve beat us like a drum all season. They’ve walked off on us three times, and they’ve beaten us by one run six times. But interestingly, one of our two wins was a 14-1 drubbing. Baseball’s a weird game.

For those that weren’t able to see the game, this guy’s opinion was that Sean Newcomb looked much better. After riding the struggle bus to a 7 walk performance in 4 2/3 innings last time out, he had one walk over 6 innings. His strike-to-ball ratio was one of his best since his first start. He was also hurt by two bad plays that led to 2 of his 3 runs allowed. Nick Markakis lost a ball in the lights that led to an extra base hit, and Ozzie Albies made a poor throw on a relay that led to a run. All in all, this was a step forward for him, and a great bounce-back start after what was probably a defeating start last time out.

But this team is mired in several slumps. Albies, Swanson, Adams, Inciarte, and Markakis are all in slumps, and on top of that, Adams can’t play left field at all (enjoy the video of him dropping a very catchable fly ball if you can find it). Kemp’s absence throws off the feng shui of this lineup as well. Instead of being able to go L-R-L-R all the way through the lineup, Markakis is inexplicably lodged between Freddie Freeman and Tyler Flowers, thus creating a L-L 3-hole and clean-up that the Phillies were able to exploit late in the game here. Matt Kemp, when healthy, is the only thing close to a clean-up hitter we have, and his right-handedness also allows Markakis to hit 5th, Flowers to hit 6th, and Adams to be one of the best 7-hole hitters in the game.

The bullpen once again pitched really well in relief, and Jim Johnson and Arodys Vizcaino have both taken very well to their new roles. At this point, it’s now the offense that hasn’t given the Braves a chance to win. Round and round we go.

59 thoughts on “A Phils/Barves Game As You Might Expect”

  1. From last thread: I do wonder if Atlanta will feel the pressure to call up Acuna to stay relevant.

  2. Trying to keep the season interesting, how about a little Jace Peterson vs. Sean Rodriguez? We’ll update the totals on a semi-daily basis so we can better gauge the competence of our FO’s personnel management. Jace vs. S-Rod? Who will win?

    Through August 9:

    2 for 9, 3 K, 1 HR

    3 for 6, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 2B

  3. @1

    As of today also we have 50 games to play.
    Here’s my prediction, we go 15/35 as per current roster.
    We are tired, down,flat, nothing to play for.
    Bring him up and start him right away and we are at least a .500 team.
    There’s no need for a shaman to predict that – it’s basic human nature. The glittering jewel in the front window.
    Now, go beyond the mystical and concentrate on everyday detail and i see 30/20.
    Which i believe we were last year over the same stretch.
    Without Ronald Acuna.
    And imagine the difference in the home crowd attendance. Funereal otherwise, where it is now headed.
    It’s a scandal he’s not up here already. He must be going crazy. Like us.

  4. @3

    To state the obvious perhaps i need add i’m not implying that his production alone would be enough to achieve this transformation. Of course not. But it would be the catalyst for the whole squad to up their effort. Rising tides, you know.
    If you don’t agree why don’t we have a poll on those 50 games record with and without Acuna, pro rata even.

  5. @3, I look forward to great things from Ron Acuna but I don’t see him turning a 15-35 team into a 25-25 team at age 19.

  6. Attendance is down to 25k for the last 15 games (since the LA series when they last flirted with 500). Acuna will be here in September.

  7. Are you counting road games? Home attendance since that LA series is 30K+, approx the season average.

  8. Please just float Acuna at AAA for the year. He’s utterly pointless outside of marketing in ATL. There’s no reason to rush him onto the 40 man this season.

  9. As many of you may have seen, MLB is doing a (kinda?) cool nickname-on-the-back-of-jerseys thing this weekend for Players Weekend.

    Here are the Braves submittals:

    They’re kind of… boring? Many are just first names. “Freddie” is the best ya got? The coolest nickname is Big City and that was imported from St. Louis. Lt. Dans was down in the minors.

    What I’m trying to say is that this team blows so hard right now it can’t even do nicknames right. Surely we at Braves Journal can submit some better nicknames suggestions. May I suggest “BP” for Rex Brothers?

  10. All the good nicknames were taken in the first 100 years of baseball. The Chris Berman Era, which we recently resuscitated (some of us ironically), papered over the fact that we’ve left the good days of cool, sturdy nicknames behind. We’re left with a trickle now, “Big City” being one of them.

    What you see most these days is the “first name initial, last name three letters” thing. People are in such a hurry, I guess.

    I think Freddie choosing “Freddie” is a passive aggressive way of saying “This is a dumb idea.”

  11. Re: Acuna…he’s going to play in Atlanta next season one way or another. What’s wrong with him getting a taste in September? It’s either play in Atlanta, or go home for the winter. I vote for more playing.

    The 40-man isn’t full and even if it was, there’s quite a few guys on it that we could kick out and not really notice.

  12. @15, 16, I’m wondering what the deal is with Markakis choosing “TTT.” Surely some backstory there we haven’t heard

  13. His kids’ names start with T. He really does seem like a good guy. I feel bad for hating on him here so much. But, it’s Acuna-time.

  14. The 40-man is not full but will be soon. We are at 39 now. 3 must be added after the season from the 60-day DL. 2 — Brothers and Brandon, will be free agents. Edit: forgot Suzuki is also a FA. That pushes us back to 39 — but then we need to protect guys from the Rule-5 draft.

    Guys we need to add include Caleb Dirks, Gohara, David Peterson, the other Peterson, Michael Mader, Tyler Pike, Demeritte, and Ricardo Sanchez. We have chaff on the 40 man but that much?

    I can easily let go Krol, Rivero, Adonis, Lane and Micah. That leaves at least 3 someones unprotected as we stand now. We dont need to add Acuna to the roster until next year, and from a talent perspective we probably shouldn’t because it will cost us a pretty good player in the rule-5. I want Acuna up now, but I can see why the Braves FO doesn’t agree.

  15. @17 I hope the Braves don’t call up Acuna in September, especially if Kemp is back and playing by then. Acuna hasn’t had a chance to play more than a month or two at any given level since joining the franchise… why hurry him up to the Braves? Let him continue to develop in AAA. He could work on his base stealing for sure (19 SB to 11 CS in AA / 3 SB to 4 CS in AAA), I’m sure there are other aspects of his game that he could work on as well.

    It’s fair to say that a lot of the Braves’ rebuild is riding on Acuna… seems prudent to me to give him every chance to thrive and get comfortable at AAA this year. Let him start at AAA next year unless Kemp/Cakes goes away in the offseason.

  16. There’s nowhere to play in September except Atlanta. He can still start next year in AAA if they want to play service time games.

  17. I dont care about service-time games. I care about losing an extra player in the rule-5 because we promoted a player a month early.

  18. We have too many guys we have to add to the 40 man roster or we lose them. Acuna shouldn’t be added until he is the 2018 Opening Day RF.

  19. Some of the unprotected players @20 won’t stick on a major league roster if someone were to claim them.

    I’m also confident most of the people we’d jettison from our 40 man can come back on a minor league deal. Listen, if they can’t stick a team like our’s 40 man…

  20. Next years lineup appears much younger than this year’s:

    C: Flowers age 32
    1b: Freddie age 28
    2b: Albies age 21
    SS: Swanson age 24
    3b: Camargo age 24
    LF: Kemp age 33
    CF: Inciarte age 27
    RF: Acuna age 20

    Only 2 guys on the wrong side of 30. They might also go outside of the organization to get a third baseman since Camargo is more of a utility guy long term, or they could give Ruiz another look.

  21. We have one of the worst 40-man rosters in baseball. We could easily kick out 10 guys and nobody would even notice. There’s no such thing as a roster crunch on a team that’s this bad.

    It doesn’t matter either way if they call him up in September. It can’t hurt his development, and it probably can only help in the sense that he sees what life is like in the bigs, sees what the pitching is like, and can take that with him into next year.

    Losing Caleb Dirks to Rule-5 isn’t going to factor into the equation at all. FWIW, they aren’t going to protect all those guys. There’s going to be a trade or two first.

  22. Don’t want to depress anyone, but barring a trade, Neck Markakis is going to be here in 2018 as well.

  23. Also, I wrote up a brief bit of thoughts after my first visit to The Stadium In Marietta That We Must Only Refer To By It’s Officially Corporately Branded Name For Fear of Offending People. I am going to copy them over here in a bit. I don’t think they’re anywhere close to any kind of “verboten conversation topics” line, but do I mention this merely as a trigger warning.

  24. I’m worried about the talent we’re going to have to give up to unload zombie-Markakis.

  25. One thing we can be sure of with this FO…they won’t cut him. They love to throw good money after bad. It’s how they roll.

    We’re going to be bad in 2018. Attendance will be a problem. There’s gonna be big pressure to call up all the kids, not just Acuna. It will be interesting to see how they navigate next season.

  26. Let Markakis sit on the bench and pinch hit if there are no takers. He still does a good job of getting on base. He can have the Eric Hinske role.

  27. @31, Sam “Strawman” Hutcheson, you don’t have to call the stadium STP. You just have to pick a name that’s not grounded in tendentious, smug, elitist, virtue-signaling race-baiting.

  28. Frank Wren’s 2014 Braves aged out as follows:

    C: Evan Gattis, 27
    1B: Freddie Freeman, 24
    2B: Tommy La Stella, 25
    3B: Chris Johnson, 29
    SS: Andrelton Simmons, 24
    LF: Justin Upton, 26
    CF: BJ Upton, 29
    RF: Jason Heyward, 24

    We also had our catcher of the future, Cristian Bethancourt (22) and multiple other bench contributors under the age of 30. A very young team built for the future… and we done exploded that team to little bitty pieces. Let’s hope this time around our youth movement works out a little better.

  29. 38 — Unfortunately, Evan Gattis couldn’t catch everyday because of his back and couldn’t handle LF. Tommy La Stella is a 4A player. BJ Upton and Chris Johnson were horrible. And Justin Upton and Jason Heyward had expiring contracts.

  30. @39, Exactly. “History”. Sam’s political leanings are just “fact”, don’tcha know. All discussion of the 2017 Atlanta Braves must conform to his default suppositions about the world we live in.

    I forgot to add “entitled” to my list of adjectives.

  31. @49, I know…just pointing out that a team full of prime-age players isn’t necessarily going to pan out into playoff caliber play.

  32. The lineup @28 is essentially what we have now except we do better in RF and maybe worse (maybe not) at 2B. You have to think the offense at catcher will regress some. Adams will be gone and Kemp will probably miss tons of games. You’re looking at playing utility scrubs at marquee offensive positions. Ugh.

    The pitching staff will decide whether we end up with yet another high draft pick or hang around .500. Right now the pitching situation looks extremely sketchy. After this year’s winter meetings that could all change. I guess I shouldn’t just assume we’ll be terrible. We might be just run-of-the-mill average, if things go right.

  33. The year started out so well for Matt Kemp but it has been diminishing returns since then, both at bat and simply staying on the field. He came into the season in “the best shape in years!!” so the productivity we’re getting now is probably at the top end of what we can expect next year. We really need to ship him off to an AL team which might be able to extract a bit more out of him than we can. I feel bad for the guy every time he needs to make a play in the outfield. There’s a not small chance that even attempting it’s going to cause a gear to pop and then he’s day-to-day or on the DL.

  34. @37

    There are people who acknowledge something is inappropriate, and then don’t say it. A lot of good people in this group.

    Then there are people who acknowledge something is inappropriate, but decide to say it anyway. But they know they shouldn’t. I’d probably fall into this bucket.

    Then there’s 50 feet of crap.

    Then there are people who say something inappropriate, then blame the recipient for being offended by it. That’s Sam Hutcheson.

  35. I’d like to pose a question: Who’s more responsible for this whole topic overtaking the entire board repeatedly? Sam for lightly jabbing somebody with a stick or everybody else for continuously posting philosophy dissertations on why Sam is an asshole? You guys could just let it go, you know.

  36. @48…then let’s.

    Christian Bethancourt
    the pitcher was apparently self taught
    so too the lack of hustle
    silenced now, his thoughts, the arm a wasted muscle.

    According to Wiki(a surprisingly rich source for some marginal baseball players, try them) he now resides with the El Paso Chihuahuas. As was another friend of ours only a couple of years back, famously ‘deaf tricked’ over a long term. Got to be the same team, right?

    And talking about Jeff, what happened to his budding TV career with Fox South which seemed to have got off to a decent start at the beginning of the season? He had fresh things to say I remember which is the sine qua non of any analyst. Where is he now?

    And talking about Fox South is anyone else fed up with the guys in the truck who produce/direct the whole thing, their choice of camera shots? Switching from one to the other at the moment of truth? It’s routine now, when the ball leaves the bat, to hear some excitement in the voice while the camera shot jumps from close up to wide but to some purgatorial vacuum which attempts to illustrate where the ball is now but isn’t. Aggravating as hell on a big play.

    Fox South
    it’s not just the mouth
    the pictorial purview
    would add to our pleasure if the ball comes into view.

    Rob, i’m with you on Chip. The effort is always there, the silly mistakes i can forgive for that and his special DNA.

    And talking about mistakes and Skip, he made the same ones too, over years, if i am remembering correctly. A RH batter hitting a drive just inside the foul line and then watching it go foul is a slice. He got that. But if a LH batter did the same he called that a slice too sometimes. And similarly on the left side drive that tailed out of play. IOW he seemed to define one or the other by whether by location rather than who hit it. Did i remember right?

    A sliced hook
    hardly by the book
    the hooked slice
    you shouldn’t have to be told twice.

    Maybe he never played golf. But he remains preciously missed.

  37. There are worse things than Braves baseball and announcers, for instance colonoscopy prep days and those worrisome four plus hour erections.

  38. @50/51

    a joke a deux…very funny.

    and those everlasting commercials for the latest miracle drug which have to incorporate a string of disclaimers for side effects? currently ending in ‘suicidal tendencies’, we await the obvious escalation, ‘homicidal tendencies’.

  39. @53, right on. I got a funny look from the proctologist and I turned around and said “hey man you started it”

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