Braves 7, Reds 9 (12 innings)

The way this seems to work is, things go pretty good until Cliff does Mondays. Then he jinxes up the place and his mojo is so bad it lingers well into Tuesdays, regardless of how awesome I am. Then I have to recap the second loss in a row, which means I am contractually obligated to sing the song of Doom and Despair. You’d think in a game where the offense scored seven there would be upside, but no…

For the second game in a row, the pitching staff gave up crooked number after crooked number to the second worst offense in all of baseball. There’s no real way to positive-spin that. The Reds’ offense is horrible. Only Miami is nominally worse. And we’ve just spotted them 10 and 9, respectively. That has to change if the dream of WC2 is to be maintained.

Brandon McCarthy wasn’t particularly good, giving up five in as many innings. Yeah, you could nitpick and say the defense let him down (it did), but ball don’t lie. Six hits, five runs, three earned. Couple of gopher balls for good measure. Pulled after a mere five innings, which put the Bullpen of Doom and Despair right back into the firing line. We need better out of Amanda’s boy if we’re going to contend for anything of merit. Petey Moylan didn’t help things, coming in to relieve and giving up the final of McCarthy’s runs on the full Grybo.

While Mr. Amanda and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Pen were failing to retire excruciatingly bad hitters, there counterparts from Cincy were mowing down Braves left and right. Something called a Tyler Mahle threw up goose eggs for six straight. Like, no-hits, two walks type goose eggs. Dude was pretty good last year as a 22 year old, but has an ERA of 5.00 in the early going this year, and we couldn’t scratch him. Not good, man. Not good.

By the time the offense finally scraped out 3 runs in the 7th, we were already down 5-0. At which point A. J. Minter coughed up two more. The 7-3 deficit held into the top of nine. But then the Reds’ interim manager stuck with Amir Garrett a little too long, and when he went to Rasiel Iglesias dude looked across the diamond to Minter and Moylan and was like “you think that’s shatting the bed, bruh? Nah, watch me work!” Atlanta pushes four across in the top of the last and we go to extras.

Extras always lean toward the home team, due to last at bats and walk off scenarios, and eventually, in the 12th, that very thing happened. Max Fried walked Joey Votto, which is forgivable, because Joey Votto does that. But then he got up 0-2 on Scooter Gennett, wasted one, and then hung a 1-2 curve that Gennett parked for his second of the night. Game over, because you can’t get out Scooter Gennett. Not good, man. Not good.

All of which is probably already forgotten by everyone, because after the game they announced that the chosen one has been recalled from AAA and will start tonight. The time of Acuna Matata has arrived. Honestly not sure how that’s going to get the starters through six or more, or apply duct tape or bailing wire to a very bad pen, but he’s really good and super exciting and Preston Tucker has been in a nose dive for a few weeks, so okay.

105 thoughts on “Braves 7, Reds 9 (12 innings)”

  1. Tyler Mahle is a top 100 prospect that has thrown a perfect game in the minors. He’s not awful or anything. We might be awful though.

    But for real, at the beginning of the season we’d have all taken 12-10 sans-Acuna and been happy.

  2. I’m a geezer. I have been playing and watching baseball since I was a kid — say about 60 years. I watched last night’s Braves fiasco. Here’s a question: Since when do rookie pitchers shake off (repeatedly) veteran catchers in order to float a breaking ball over the middle of the plate in extras? I wonder if Snit said something to Fried afterward? Did Suzuki?

  3. The problem with the pen really is overuse. I was looking in some depth at the 1991 team. That team had 3 or 4 quite good relievers. So far, 4 of this year’s relievers have been pretty good (Carle and Winkler have been revelations, Vizzy is fine, and I have tremendous faith in Minter). The difference is, 4 good relievers is not nearly enough this year, especially when the game goes extras.

  4. The problem with multiple shake offs is that it immediately tips the batter off to the fact that you want to bring an off-speed pitch. If you’re only off-speed is a curve…

  5. Fun at the Old GABP Day 3 of 4

    Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more…

    The big unknown is will Snit start him? Somewhere within the night hours i seem to remember he was quoted as saying he would.

    Can anyone confirm please?

    It was good to see Camargo back where he belongs.

    What a lesson in humility for Fried. He will be remembered for that. Silly boy. We pay his price.

  6. Reds are throwing Brandon Finnegan tonight. Big LHP whose been on their AAA/MLB shuttle for the last couple of years. Acuna will start.

  7. First time on the site – won’t be the last. Enjoy your writer’s styles and the civility of those who comment. Speaking of which, Hector, who appears to be as grizzled as me, is spot on. You must get more innings out of starters no matter how good the ‘pen.

  8. Welcome to the discussion beachcomber! I really hope someone talked to Fried about that. I doubt if Cox would have let that slide.

    Regarding starting pitchers, they really need to emphasize finishing the 6th inning. I’ll take 6 IP, 3 ER every day over 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 8 K.

  9. @11

    coop, will do…wish you were there to share it with me.

    @8 Sam…thank you…and for the recap.

    No more wet newspapers for Freddie…he made three contacts last night that were pure.You know, you stat guys, the ears and eyes!!

    Tucker should definitely not be written off. He got hold of a couple last night.It does look over for Flaherty but…leading all NL hitters in average a couple of weeks ago! Absurd.

    Suzuki is hot, ne touchez pas. The umps were having to clean the plate often because of all the moisture in the air – suspect the mud might have caused him standing off the plate when he took Freddie’s throw. Poor Ozzie, he must stand and admire what others can do. So foreign for him. But others will soon be paying for this. I’m sure he awaits the warm weather, blue skies. The weather here is more conducive to football but supposed to improve this pm and tomorrow lunchtime.

    Acuna starts! magnifico.

  10. Glad to have you on Beachcomber. Things get a little heated at times but it’s a good group. I’ve even detected a hint of optimism from Sam at times. I think most of us agree that the next few years for Braves fans should at least be a little better than the last few.

  11. Fried was throwing every pick off attempt to Freddie in the dirt. Hopefully they will get him on out there some time tonight.

    For Fried
    to succeed
    he must talk to Annibal
    it’s just a game played with a bat and a ball.

    common language? Sam made a good point the other day.

  12. I’ve been thinking about the problem with the pen and pitcher usage a bit. I may expand it to a full post for an off day, but I’m really coming around to the idea of “dual starters” once Gohara returns.

    The basic idea would be to send out Amanda’s Man, Julio and Anibel (when he returns) as regular starters. Everyone except designated swing “second starters” would be available in the pen on their starts. But pair up two younger, “can’t go deep yet” starters on the other days, and limit the avail of the rest of the pen to emergencies. Maybe go with Folty for five, then Newcomb for four, one day. Then Gohara/Wisler another. Flip the “starter/reliever” roles in those combinations every other start, so everyone gets the chance to remain a “starter” and if one of them is cruising with a one-hit, no-walk game through the fifth, let them continue and work into a real “go 7 or 8 starter role.

  13. Acuna watch: I predict 1/3 today with a walk. Been waiting for Acuna–and other young up-and-coming Braves–for a long time. Always nice to see young players succeed, and their getting the opportunity is the first step. I guess I will move on to Soroka and Riley now.

  14. 1. Inciarte – cf
    2. Albies – 2b
    3. Freeman- 1b
    4. Suzuki – c
    5. Markakis – rf
    6. Acuna -lf
    7. Carmargo – 3b or Flaherty – 3b
    8.Swanson – ss

    Going lefty / righty all the way down lineup

  15. If he’s not starting, Ronaldhino can be the defensive sub. If he is starting, you don’t need one.

  16. With Acuna in and Bourjos out, that leaves us down to whether or not Joey Bats can hit enough to move Charlie Culberson off the roster.

    And the pen.

  17. Camargo is in the lineup playing third and batting 5th. Acuna is batting 6th. Swanson 7th. Perez is batting 8th and catching.

  18. If some of y’all think Snitker is smart enough or progressive enough for tandem starters, etc. or anything other than here’s a ball, kid, you haven’t been watching too much…

  19. This team has NO cleanup hitter … a bunch of 6th place hitters hitting in the 4th spot .. Camargo hitting 5th ??? Really …. Suzuki has to suck it up .. play today we need a win ..Perez is awful … Suzuki swinging a hot bat and should be the 4th spot .. Markakis 5th, Acuna 6th , Carmargo 7th ands Swanson 8th .. going lefty / righty all through the lineup .. tell SNIT I will send him lineup each day ….

  20. Tad, why are you taking at bats away from Swanson?? Think that guys need more opportunities at the plate, not less.

  21. Thinking about lineup construction prompted me to look at our pitcher’s batting: .053/.100/.105. That is pretty bad. both hits were doubles–no singles yet. Forty plate appearances so far–less than two per game. Seems like a natural byproduct of not gettign deep into games.

  22. Haven’t been here in a long while. Like the face lift. Really haven’t been anywhere in a while with exception of Twitter and Walk Off Walk as we are expecting baby 2 any day now. Love seeing the new faces mixed in with seasoned vets. Gents, we are about to see the 1st complete 25-man roster in 4 years and while I’m not saying it’s going to make us instant competers, I’m excited about the prospect of relevant baseball in September. Get Flowers, Bautista, and Soroka up here, find a bullpen arm or 2 and we could get downright interesting. Go Braves.

  23. @31

    Well, the result of the pitchers not pitching deep into games has been some creative roster management by Snit. Culberson and Bourjos are bad hitters, but double-switching them in as defensive replacement has been effective use of the bench and working with the pitcher’s spot in the order. It will only get better if he can PH Flaherty and then bring him in to play 3rd as a defensive replacement, or if Adams finds his way onto the roster, the same can be done for Kakes in right.

    Keeping Tucker on the roster negates that a little bit, but now having Tucker available to PH is a cumulative step in the right direction. All in all, the roster moves are having more impact than I think some are giving it credit. With that said, some people may be really disappointed when Ronald Acuna Jr. isn’t Mike Trout.

  24. @34, I view most of Snit’s double-switches as over-managing, basically an overall net-negative. Last night he switched out Albies to delay the pitcher’s spot 2 places, and ended up hitting Carlos Perez in that spot when it came around.

    Taking out your best players late in a tie game is not a winning strategy. Hopefully this will happen less when our bench goes from heinous to respectable in the next week or so.

  25. @34 If I’m being honest, there hadn’t been a Mike Trout, really, since Alex Rodriguez. I don’t even expect guys like that to really exist except maybe one in a generation. It’s at the very edge of extreme, so of course it’s very rare.

    Anyway, a good comp for Acuna might be the Ron Gant of 1991/92. We could sure use a guy like that in the OF.

  26. I expect Acuna to hit one completely out of GAB tonight. Anything less will be disappointment.

  27. My expectations, I think, are fair but high. We should expect league average offense (a .750 OPS), defense similar to how Heyward handled RF with maybe a little less arm, and functional speed somewhere between Ender and Ozzie. I don’t think we see a lot of SBs, but I think we see more singles into doubles, scoring from first on a double, etc. than we would see from your average left fielder. And I do think it’s fair for his very strong defensive reputation to immediately translate to the major league level. Basically, I’m asking for Heyward’s age-23 season which was a .254/.349/.427, 14 HR, 2 SBs, Gold Glove-finalist corner outfielder. That year, that translated to a 120 wRC+ and 3.1 fWAR.

    Are my expectations too high?

  28. You get kind of numb to batting practice power shows at GABP, but Ronald Acuna Jr. just elicited a 'holy crap' from several in the press box— C. Trent Rosecrans (@ctrent) April 25, 2018

  29. To be clear, these are my immediate expectations. This is what I’m expecting from day one.

  30. I expect him to be better than Ron Gant. Maybe not right away, but by late summer I hope we’re all like “wow”.

    Is that fair? No. But how often have we had the #1 or #2 prospect make his debut? Expectations are going to be high, and he’s likely to meet them.

  31. @41 I just think that Acuna is going to take people by surprise. I think he could top 20 homers this year. It’s a long season.

    I don’t expect him to obliterate the league, but he could possibly obliterate the league. I’ll reserve expectations, of course, until we’re into his 4th season and he hasn’t turned into Juan Pierre at the plate.

  32. Is that fair? No. But how often have we had the #1 or #2 prospect make his debut? Expectations are going to be high, and he’s likely to meet them.

    First time since Heyward!

  33. @34 Go back and look at Trout’s rookie numbers. I think we expect him to be better than Trout, yeah?

  34. I’m trying not to get too excited. I still remember Brad Komminsk and his Acuna like minor league stats. It has scarred me for life.

  35. @46 If you actually believed that, you wouldn’t have taken him in the 4th round!

  36. I’d be thrilled with 1991 Ron Gant offensive numbers for Acuna. If he does that, his overall value will be much better than Gant thanks to defense. Ron played CF in 1991, and B Ref at least really didn’t like his defense. Gant’s oWAr that year was 4.8, but his dWAR was -2.6.

  37. “Good to have C.B. Bucknor back.”
    — Chip, crossing the last line of stupidity

  38. Would love to see Venters pitch against the Braves. That would also mean he’s been on the roster for a couple weeks:

  39. Wisler’s not exactly fooling them but give him credit for keeping it in the strike zone and keeping his pitch count down. I hope Folty and Newk are paying attention.

  40. My fault there. Just as I praised Wisler for throwing strikes, he walks the leadoff man. So Votto’s homer is a 2 run shot. Votto’s gonna hit he ball; the key is to keep the other guys off the bases.

  41. Joe just said essentially the same thing on the tv right after I typed my comment immediately above. If I can’t do better than Joe, I think I’d best just keep quiet on this board.

  42. I’m sick of Perez. Traded Recker for cash savings. DFA’ed Scivicque.DFA’ed Stewart. And here we are.

  43. Chip’s an idiot. He said walks prolonged the inning. No, the minor league catcher inexplicably on our roster prolong the ending.

    Trade ONE pitcher to complete the roster!

  44. If Snitker takes Wisler out after 83 pitches, this is further evidence he doesn’t understand how to manage a pitching staff. You can’t keep pulling pitchers an inning too early

  45. Can they just shut up about hyping prospects and just put a major league roster on the field? I’m done already with the Acuna stuff. We should be pounding the worst team in baseball right now, and the org is playing games.

  46. I don’t agree with taking Wisler out. Snit is demonstrating an unnecessarily quick hook, and that could easily get him canned, methinks.

  47. @75 that’s my point as well. The quick hook is taxing an already tired and semi ineffective bullpen.

  48. It’s so obvious that these pitch counts are so low that there has to be something we don’t know. I hope. I hope.

  49. One plausible theory is that with Anibal, Gohara, and Whitley all, in theory, soon to return, there’s a mandate from on high to get as many looks at as many relievers as possible. But ya know what, when you trade for and draft a million pitchers in 2014-2015, this is where you end up in 2018.

  50. I think Snit pulled Wisler tonight because he had become very ineffective the third time through the order. He was lucky in the first 4 innings, but by the end of the 5th he’d given up 9 hits and 3 walks. I’d rather blame the pitcher than the manager for that.

  51. I thought Whitley was on a rehab and out of options. I certainly could be wrong. The AAAA relievers run together after a while.

  52. Suzuki! I’m glad they pulled Perez, even if it meant burning your last catcher. Good on you, Snit.

    Also, I think they call up Flowers tomorrow.

  53. In any given game, it’s better to pull a pitcher an inning too early than an inning too late. Over the course of a season, definitely agree that it will kill (is already killing) a bullpen.

  54. Jonny Venters threw four pitches tonight, three of them strikes, resulting in one out, for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Good for you, Jonny. Hope you can stick around a while.

  55. Wisler was definitely struggling through the order the third time. But is that where we are with 4/5 of our rotation that they can’t be trusted to pitch the third time through? We got problems.

  56. When Mrs. Copenhaver knows CB Bucknor by name and knows he’s blind, that’s a big problem for MLB.

  57. By the way, good luck trying to explain to your wife how Perez’s missed tag was not an error, neither was Cincy’s SS’s missed play, but Dansby’s boot was.

  58. Minter for the save!!! How about that bullpen tonight? Multi-inning Biddle followed by perfect Winkler and Minter.

  59. Biddle to Winkler to Minter is big based on how overworked Carle, Freeman, and Moylan have been. Overall, great work by Wisler too. He deserved better on the stat sheet though.

  60. @90 Rob, I think Wisler is what he is. Every now and then he puts up a game so good you think he has to be a star and then he loses it all at once in an inning and can’t get it back. Any luck at all in the 5th (a double play or great defensive play or something) and he would have gone the sixth and had a quality start. A lot of the damage was done after two outs. Granted, any inning with two walks is destined to be bad; Wisler needs to learn how to grind it out.

    Oh, and, by the way, I keep hearing how wonderful a game caller Perez is. They were using Perez as Wisler’s personal catcher. That’s probably why he came out when Wisler did. We need Flowers back soon, but I don’t think he’ll be brought up until he gets at least one hit.

    I also think we’re still a couple of weeks away from Gohara. I’d like to see Fried get a start.

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