Atlanta 4, Chicago 0

The Braves rolled into the Windy City for an afternoon tilt with the Cubbies Friday. Anibal Sanchez toed the rubber for Atlanta, while the Northsiders trotted out their $126 Million Dollar Man, Yu Darvish. While both pitchers tossed the first four frames in a scoreless fashion, it was Sanchez, and not Darvish, who looked like the better hurler today.

Sanchez went six innings, and with the exception of the third, he held the Cubs in check, with three 1-2-3 innings and a fourth that featured a double play. Darvish meanwhile, allowed four walks and nine hits in his 4 2/3 innings. The wheels came off in the 5th, when, after one out, Ozzie Albies doubled, went to third on a balk, and scored on a wild pitch. After getting Freddie Freeman to strike out, Darvish allowed a single to Nick Markakis, a double to Kurt Suzuki, and a three run homer to Preston Tucker, who broke out of a mini-slump with the homer and another knock. After that, Dansby Swanson walked, Ryan Flaherty singled (one of his three hits on the day), and Sanchez drew a base on balls that Yu knew was sending Darvish to the showers.

The bullpen locked down Chicago after that, with Sam Freeman working a perfect 7th, A.J. Minter working around a two out Ian Happ double, and Arodys Vizcaino setting down the heart of the Cubs’ order in the 9th. At 8-5 the Braves are now assured of finishing this scary nine game road trip above .500 for the season. And if someone told you we’d be 8-7 after 15 games, you might have called for the men with the butterfly nets.

Anyway, I’ll leave you with this afternoon’s guest singer for Take Me Out To The Ballgame. I’d say don’t give up your day job, but he’s better than I probably am, so I won’t. (In fact when I joined my church choir I told the director it was on the condition that I wouldn’t do any solos. She heard me sing and said, ‘That won’t be a problem.’)

104 thoughts on “Atlanta 4, Chicago 0”

  1. A. I’m starting to believe.
    B. Winning is a skill in and of itself. Teams start to truly expect to win. It’s a habit. And so is losing.
    C. I think Kevin Seitzer is a pretty good hitting coach.
    D. I wish we had ONE more TRUE stud in the bullpen. Like a Betances, type lights out setup man to go with Minter.

  2. As someone who’s followed Ozzie since he was signed in 2013, it’s really satisfying to see him succeed like this at the highest level.

    That play he made in the 4th inning was just incredible.

  3. If one is able to dream that this team can add Acuna and Pache to the OF, Riley at 3b and Soroka and Fried to the staff. Things get very interesting even without spending any free agent cash.

  4. It’s good to see the success of AA’s depth signings. He is showing all the things needed to be a very good GM…wait, he was already a very good GM when he was with the Jays!

    I am so happy that the team is finally moving on from the JS/BC regime.

  5. It’s been a while, but gotta say…liked Chip a bit more after that 7th stretch. Slowly but surely, Chip.

    Resuming lurking until smarter minds hash out “Rugfrolhs”. It’s pronounced “Rugfrolhs”. AKA Runs generated from lost helmets. Unsurprisingly, Albies is leading this year. His career totals are already so impressive that his black/grey/orange Rugfrolhs is showing early HOFrog potential

  6. Thank you, Seat Painter. Winning, what’s not to like, and the calvary’s coming, this time to help the Braves.

  7. @1, So you’re saying the Braves…

    *looks down at his notes*

    *straightens his necktie*

    *looks down at his notes again*

    …know how to win??

  8. @blazon,

    Actually, Simmons is one of the only players in baseball who has put together a more “valuable” season that Albies so far.

    None of which changes the fact that we could have had them both through 2020.

  9. It’s up to you if you want to change your priors after 13 games and who knows how many months of abject miserabilism before that.

    But don’t tell me that Dellin Betances is a top-tier reliever. He needs to regain some semblance of command.

  10. @9 but still @blazon: and if you did have Simmons and Albies, you really could have traded Dansby for Nick Senzel!

  11. @ Edward

    I know, I know! But its a fascinating projection over the next 5 years say for both. Ozzie in the field yesterday made Baez look ordinary. We must fear for his body the way he hurls it around like an international soccer goalie. And then there’s his left hand power which was supposedly suspect. Yeah.

    Last thing,his smile. Dourish for A, Oz million dollar. Think that doesn’t make a difference for us over a long season. And it has to infect the others.

    I am slightly wound up about Oz as you may see. Thank you for injecting some reality into the current
    situation. Would you bet that stays the same? In either event he brightens our day!

  12. @11

    Adam. True. Cincinnati are having a pretty dreadful time, Suarez is down with something, Senzel up from Louisville presumably though ’tis said they were playing Acuna type games with his appearance. Peraza looks so ordinary, Swanson anything but with his new bat. Great to be wrong!

  13. True story. Have been puzzled by the recent promos on FSS regarding an Ossie Bobblehead night using that weird last name, previously unknown. He must have more than one, Curacao you know..

    Bit premature I thought, even for the great man. Then I saw a small type reference to a Star Wars movie. Jeez.

  14. @1 Chief, we already have him. His name is Biddle and he’s already on the 40-man. I’m not sure a second lockdown arm wouldn’t also be good. Maybe, Fried is that man for this year. Put Gohara, Biddle, and Fried on the staff and you are really ready to rock and roll. If anyone should fall out of favor (Teheran) or get traded (Teheran/McCarthy) then Fried will already be there and proven as a swingman to take over a starting role with Soroka not far behind.

  15. Jesse Biddle is not close to an in-form Dellin Betances. Neither is Max Fried. Those guys are not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about a PROVEN MLB lights out set up man with high K/9 etc.

  16. @3

    Pache is still too far away. Harper might look even better than Pache could be. Riley is looking damn good at MS – damn good. He may be an option later this year. One could probably trade for Moustakas right now (the Royals are going nowhere) and he wouldn’t cost a draft pick or a multi-year contract and he’s cheap. The only issue is what the Royals would want in return.

  17. @16 Chief, baloney. You do not have to have Betances’ resume to be the solution to the problem. Biddle is better than the current Betances and all he needs to be “proven” is enough innings to show it. Your solution is how teams overspend for very little benefit. I suppose you think Minter is not good enough be a closer because he’s not “proven”.

  18. @17

    That’s a good point about Moustakas and how acquirable he would be for us. All his free agency issues are dead and gone now. I wonder if he could be had for relief prospects.

    Pache really shouldn’t be considered in any 2018 or even 2019 discussions as far as I’m concerned. I just can’t see a scenario where we can’t financially do better in even 2019 than Pache, no matter how much power he develops. When you’ve got Inciarte and Acuna, and you have the money to get literally anyone in the game including Harper, Pache just shouldn’t be in the conversation.

    Fried looked good in his first start for AAA last night: 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K.

  19. Baloney Betances
    he’s had so many chances
    Chief is maintaining his unqualified support
    Biddle, says Roger, will cut his reign short.

    my money’s on Yasseel de la Cruz, whose talents are there for us to use.

    any more on Chicago weather, the recapper wants to know, please?

  20. Cart’s really getting ahead of the horse if we’ve gone from “we’ll win 75 games if God blesses us” to “we really need to make sure we’ve got an established major league contributor at every spot on the roster like the consensus playoff teams”, but we’ll know soon enough if our bullpen is out-manned. If we only had the track records we have now, and we could in an imaginary world fast forward to a playoff series, yes, I would not want to have Freeman/Moylan as L/R specialists, and a Winkler->Vizzy->Minter 7-9th. I think there’s quite a bit of risk.

    But, it’s not an imaginary world, and the Braves will have over 3 months to figure out if Winkler or Ramirez or Biddle or Carle or literally whomever else can be a legitimate late inning guy.

  21. @blazon

    My joke from last thread is in reference to the Andruw Jones quote from yesteryear. Not sure if there’s a link or it’s in our glossary as to what… uhhh… I’m referring to. Someone may feel inclined to run with this.

  22. Rob, that is a painful memory, please don’t go there again. That was the lineup that made Kemp look good.

  23. It’s hard to project anybody to be a 2+ WAR reliever, like Betances was, until they actually do it.

  24. Cart’s really getting ahead of the horse if we’ve gone from “we’ll win 75 games if God blesses us” to “we really need to make sure we’ve got an established major league contributor at every spot on the roster like the consensus playoff teams”

    Rob is the voice of reason here. 13 games, guys.

    Here’s a good piece on Moustakas’ ongoing injury issues. I haven’t had a chance to watch him this season. I still doubt a rental 3B this year is going to be worth trading for, but we’ll see.

  25. Eddie Butler with what used to be known as the Triple Grybo (three inherited runners score but none of his own), but Markakis spoiled it.

    Now, somebody’s gotta do something about these Mets before we get too excited.

  26. After watching Trevor Cahill and Nick Swisher and Eric Stults and Gordon Beckham and Erick Aybar and all the clowns the FO has put on our television, it’s hard to not get really excited about how these guys are doing. It’s early, and we could easily fade, but excitement is only natural after everything.

  27. Butler had the rare triple Grybowski but failed to stick the landing. Shame, really…

  28. Newcomb appears to be taking more off his velocity to try getting better control. No harm done, today anyway.

  29. So it’s 4-1 and I go run a couple of errands and when I get back it’s 10-2! Who are these guys?

  30. @50

    Yeah, I’m not sure if it was worth the collective strategy of keeping all of Winkler, Lindgren, and Biddle (wasn’t there one other?) on the 40-man for as long as they had all with the same strategy, but I’m glad Winkler has worked out for now.

  31. Yeah, you’re right. As mentioned, even at this juncture of the rebuild, we’ve not lost anyone who has gone on to bigger and better things. Good point.

    I guess the alternative would have been to circle even more retreads in and out (like Sam Freeman and Jose Ramirez) to see who stuck.

  32. To be fair here, the Cubs have simply nothing to prove right now. They’re probably sick and tired of playing in this kind of weather, and our Baby Braves have a chip on their shoulder a mile wide.

  33. Do you think Chip actually knows what axle grease feels like? Also. when did he start saying “smoked” on every hard hit ball?

  34. To clarify, I don’t like it like that. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that!”

  35. I trust Ramirez and Vizcaino about as far as I could throw them. (which aint far cuz I’m old)

  36. Chip would clearly rather stay behind in Chicago, and I’d be happy if we left him there.

  37. If Jason Heyward hit like the last two years of Freddie Freeman for his next 800 at bats his oWAR for Chicago would increase to the level of Dan Ugglas tenure in Atlanta.

  38. Should have challenged Contreras blocking the plate on Suzuki to end the inning back in the 2nd.

  39. @65 I’m putting it on the collective starting pitching. You can’t keep throwing 4-5 relievers a game.

  40. chalk this one to inclement weather and move on. with ozzie and dansby’s performance today, we will win way more than we end up losing.

  41. It’s not Snits fault that the bullpen fookin sucks…but leaving guys in that can’t throw a strike is beyond aggravating.

  42. Last year, Florida football beat the Vols on a Hail Mary as time expired, and then needed a Kentucky missed field goal to win the next one. But I knew Jim McElwain wasn’t the man for the job, so I wanted Florida — my beloved Florida– to lose so that it became clear to the men at the top that Mac needed to go.

    This bullpen implosion doesn’t bother me that much. C’mon, we’re about 3 weeks removed from thinking the roster wasn’t that talented.

  43. current temp is 36` and it is drizzling. The fans who are still in the park deserve this.

  44. those 2 double plays by markakis were a big deal as well….hopefully tomorrows game gets postponed.

  45. @84 Only very poorly-ran athletic administrations associate themselves with people who would be fired at airports.

    See what I did there? ;)

  46. This may be the worst cratering job I’ve seen as a Braves fan, and I’ve been one since 1966.

  47. Ramirez and Jackson should be DFA’d after the game, and Moylan shouldn’t be resting easy either.

  48. 93 —You’re right. Ramirez and Jackson have a proven track record of being really good pitchers…not.

    Ramirez’s ERA was a mirage last year and he was a below replacement level reliever.

    Luke Jackson was put on the roster for the reason of being an emergency reliever who could easily pass through waivers when the team needed a spare arm. He can go now.

  49. Yeah, this may be one instance where FIP and WAR were much better indicators of future performance than our long-time friend ERA. And perhaps it should be an encouragement that his usage reflected that point until now. He’s been 5th on the depth chart, so the FO wasn’t fooled either.

  50. Maybe they can find pitchers who can actually control where the ball is going instead.

  51. 96 — In Snitker’s defense, I think they were unavailable today. That’s why he was forced to use the scrubs who don’t have major league caliber control. Maybe Sam Freeman could have come in earlier, but he is clearly worn out and didn’t have it either.

  52. The way to fix it is to have fewer scrubs on the 25 man. I know, that’s crazy talk.

  53. Does anyone care to look up Vizzy and Minter’s recent usage (past few days)?

  54. OK, first, Snit’s issue of bad managing in this situation. 1) the intentional walk before bringing in Freeman (Snit’s over-reliance on the LH/RH matchup) – especially with two outs already, 2) Moylan should have been brought in before Freeman walked a second run in, 3) Ramirez should have been removed on the first mound visit after he walked in a run – before Baez’s double with a three run lead – that would have been a good time for Moylan. The only good thing he did was pull Jackson before a single run had crossed the plate. If he had continued to follow that path (pulling the idiot reliever before too much damage could be done) then the Braves might have won.

    The second part is that, specifically, Jackson and Ramirez are the incredibly obvious low men on the totem pole and should have been replaced well before this game. We absolutely need another lockdown reliever. I think Biddle can be that reliever, but we could also use another one. If no one has noticed, the bullpens at Gwinnett and Mississippi have been ungodly terrible so far. I would sure as hell welcome Akeel back in to the fold. The bottom of the pen – Jackson, Ramirez, Carle, and Sanchez – will need to be improved upon before the Braves can be consistent winners. At this point it almost makes one wistful for Jim Johnson.

  55. So I guess Minter and Vizzy were unavailable after all. Having just watched scenes from the game – it should not have been played it seems. I wonder how much blame can actually be put on the players?

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