Wednesday Recap, Special Tuesday Edition, With Special Guest Mike Soroka

A change-up this week. Since I will be in midair internet isolation during tomorrow’s game, I am recapping (and attending) Tuesday’s game at Citi Field.

Preliminaries out of the way first: the 1966 Braves used their 28th game to allow the Reds to complete a doubleheader sweep at Atlanta Stadium. (Never forget that the “Fulton County” was a later addition.) Some guy named Pete Rose was 3-5 for the Reds. He seemed to have a pretty good career but missed out on the Hall of Fame for some reason. Less-impressive-but-actual HOFer Tony Perez knocked in two runs. Milt Pappas pitched a complete game for the Reds and I just found out that his nickname was “Gimpy.” Vada Pinson was another Hall-of-the Very-Good guys in that game. – 54.3 Career WAR (higher than Perez in 5 fewer seasons) and over 2700 hits.

For two tickets down the third base line at Citi Field, once you account for parking and various “service charges” and “convenience fees,” I am set back $176.50. In 1966 a Field Level ticket at Atlanta Stadium cost $3.50 and parking was around a dollar, so real ticket prices have roughly tripled over the last 52 years. ($8 in 1966 is about $63 today.) Or it may just be that prices are higher in NYC. But I don’t have to stand in line for tickets, although I do have to stand in a pretty long line for security screening.

The Rotunda on the entrance to Citi Field is a shrine to Jackie Robinson, a slightly idiosyncratic choice for a guy who retired six years before the Mets came into existence, but then again it’s way too grand a space to celebrate the legacy of Ed Kranepool or Benny Agbayani, though a Tom Glavine Rotunda would have been pretty cool.

I hated Shea Stadium with its urine aromas (and that was just from the Mets fans, all of whom seemed to be on day passes from nearby Riker’s Island) its harsh and uncomfortable winds and the stupid Home Run Apple. The Apple is still there, but I have to admit it’s a great ballpark, much better than the crosstown New Yankee Mausoleum. And you can actually buy Mets tickets on Sunday for a Tuesday game down pretty low and still send your grandchildren to college, unlike the Yankees. (And why would I want to send any Yankees to college, anyway?)

At 1 PM on game day I discovered that Sean Newcomb was going to be replaced at pitcher by The Knack’s M-M-M-Mike Soroka. (Hat tip to Braves14… Genius. Any bets that Chip will say, maybe tonight if he reads Braves Journal: “Let’s see if Mike has The Knack for pitching.”) So now the Braves will have the three youngest players in baseball. I don’t know why everyone is so excited about this. I mean, I’m no spring chicken, but Albies, Acuña and Soroka are older than me… by 116 days. By the end of the season, they’ll be over a year older than me.

Mr. Soroka hails from Calgary, which allows me a moment to reminisce about other Braves Canadians: Pete Orr, Claude Raymond and Scott Thorman. All in, Soroka is clearly the best Canadian the Braves have ever had, and he hasn’t even played a game yet. In six seasons, Claude managed a -0.5 WAR for the Braves, Peterson Thomas Gordon Orr managed a +0.3 in 3 years, and the can’t-miss Thorman was -1.0 in 2 seasons. Altogether, Canada owes us 1.2 WAR before Soroka dons a uniform, unless I missed somebody.

Anyway, I’m about to leave for the park. I’m not going to live-blog this, because I want to enjoy my $176.50. But I’ll add to it sometime late tonight…

Author: JonathanF

Alive since 1956. Braves fan since 1966. The first ten years were pretty much wasted. Exiled to Yankees/Mets territory in 1974 --- bearable only with TBS followed by MLB.TV.

69 thoughts on “Wednesday Recap, Special Tuesday Edition, With Special Guest Mike Soroka”

  1. This was a quality post to act as our first game thread in a while.

    From last thread:

    I think it’s way too premature to be worried about a lack of opportunities for our young pitchers. I don’t think there’s truly anyone nailed into this rotation, and AA will easily trade just about anyone to make room for a pitcher who has truly earned it. Sanchez, Teheran, and Newcomb are easily tradeable, and I think Folty and obviously Soroka would be difficult to trade at the present juncture.

  2. Also JC’d:

    Gohara hasn’t exactly lit it up so far. Let him figure it out at Gwinnett. He may not be there for long with Teheran and Anibal being health question marks anyway.

  3. I don’t mean to alarm you, but the Braves have rocketed up to #8 in’s power rankings this week.

  4. Jonathan R

    In the air or not your feet are firmly grounded. You are awarded the line of the week, re urination aromas..

    ‘Mets fans on day passes from Rikers Island’…

    take a bow!


    Separately and re Hannibel…

    Don’t forget it was only ten days ago Julio went 2 and 0 after their lengthy televised bench conversation so there was a general consensus here that he was mentoring Julio and doing a very good job of it.The third start after was screwed by that shoulder thing.

    We discussed keeping him long term not specifically to pitch but to mentor young Spanish speaking pitchers in particular – Sam’s point. He seems to have a rare knack for it.That is a valuable asset.

    So when you have these fun freewheeling give and takes about our older pitching staff remember this guy is in a category of his own. Don’t be dismissive of him.

  5. Nobody is dismissing Sanchez. I haven’t seen anyone say we should DFA him. Simply that he won’t block Soroka, and may return as a long reliever.

  6. Peter Bourjos signed to another minor league deal. Jaff Decker released.

  7. @6 Good. I’ve seen his name included in some ‘get rid of ‘ lists.

    JC’d from previous- timo has admitted he’s become ‘seriously attached’ to Julio.

    ‘He’s grown accustomed to his pace.’

  8. BTW everyone, I think I managed to grab Soroka in the BJ fantasy league. (Someone else–Stu?–may have just dropped him yesterday. If I remember right, I’m first on the waiver list.) What’s interesting is that I actually picked him up before the announcement. I was just doing some team housekeeping and figured, why the hell not?

    I’m not sorry. And–I’m not sorry that I’m not sorry.

  9. I dropped Soroka to pick up Mahle the half inning before his no-hit bid fell apart.

  10. I dropped him last night, probably less than 12 hours before his call-up, to add Jedd Gyorko (unlike the rest of my infield, his hamstrings are intact). But because of the way Yahoo handles waivers, it looks like he’s still on my roster for tonight, so I’ll get to have him for just the one start.

    I picked him up on a lark as well, figured I’d see how long I could spare a spot for him. Oh well. Enjoy him, Edward.

  11. Quick: How many pitchers in modern major league history have had their first at bat before they threw their first pitch?

  12. Well, Soroka might not be the first, but he’s definitely one of them. :)

  13. I assume Ferguson Jenkins is the best Canadian pitcher. Who would be the second best all time?

  14. Claude Raymond may not have been good, but I was a fan. Milo invariably called him Frenchy.

  15. I like this new reality where Freeman is like our 3rd best position player.

  16. I’m surprised when any replay call goes in the Braves’ favor.

  17. should’ve been overturned, the foot was solidly on the bag by the time the ball hit the glove; and then they threw away the big inning

  18. I want you to know I’m not one of those idiots always jumping to conclusions.


  19. Even the Mets announcers commented “A tie goes to the runner, doesn’t it? Did they change that rule?” after the replay on Albies “hit”.

  20. Feel like they’re trying to deliberately jinx Soroka with the constant Reitsma Room comments.

    Reason #37473826 of why Chip sucks at his job: Freeman makes the play on the grounder to 1st unassisted to retire the side and Chip makes the tease before the break, “and guess who’s leading off the next inning?!?”

    Except it’s Ender. It’s not Freeman. Either Chip’s too stupid to remember, or he’s too stupid to realize it’s a complete non. sequitur.

    And he does idiotic things like this all the time. Drives me crazy.

  21. Can someone suggest the justification for, again, sitting Camargo for Flaherty?

  22. If only that Soroka guy hadn’t left six guys on base, we’d have a much bigger lead. LMAO.

    I still think batting pitcher eighth is best even with tonight’s experience. It’s only been five innings and, by the end of the sixth, Ender will have led off three times. The last time the bottom of the order had so many runners on base, they didn’t do much better and the pitcher ended up leading off several times.

    Anyway, what are we complaining about? 10 hits off Thor after 5? And that first inning was stunning. And Soroka has been magnificent so far.

  23. I swear I’m going to kill something if Snit pulls Soroka for a pinch hitter in the 7th if he’s only thrown 75-80 pitches.

  24. Why??? Why take him out after 80 pitches when he’ll need a PH next inning anyway? GRRR!!!!

  25. numbness in thumb and index finger, dont know what it means

    edit: winkler has been great and worth the wait on the DL

  26. Cueto to the DL. Hope he’s not seriously injured, but not upset we’ll miss him in the Giants series now.

  27. @46 – so we hate when the stupidold school Braves don’t do things in a modern analytics driv n way, and we hate when they do things by the new Sabre book.

  28. What does the Sabre book have to do with taking a pitcher out after 80 pitches when he has no history against the team he’s pitching against? I have no problem with the Sabre book, but it looks like we’re about to blow this game and lost a reliever to the DL when Soroka could have just pitched another inning. There is no doubt Soroka can complete a game. And there is no doubt he can pitch up to 100 pitches no matter how many times through the order he has to go. The Sabre book shouldn’t be an excuse to do stupid things.

  29. We need Braves outfielders to stop freaking us out on the last play of the game.

  30. Goodness. Did our best to give that one up. Nice work by Vizcaino to keep it together

  31. The kid is well on his way to being the second best pitcher Canada has ever produced.

  32. I’d rather pull a pitcher an inning too early than an inning too late, but really, he went through 1-5 3 times, but couldn’t pitch to 6-7-8 a 3rd time?

  33. Pulling Soroka had nothing to do with anything Sabre.

    It was all about getting him out of there with the good start vibes still intact and hoping to insure that he picks up his first W.

    If you’re going to blame that move on a school, I believe it stars Will Ferrell and Luke Wilson.

  34. At some point you have to let him go out there again or your middle relievers are going to break.

  35. On the whole, I’d rather be having pitchers struggle in their last inning of duty more often than they currently are. If the goal is to remove them one inning too early, that’s a lot of innings that add up over the course of the season.

    But I do agree with pulling Soroka after 6, regardless of pitch count. That’s the hardest 6 innings of his life.

  36. With the shift putting Dansby to the right second of second base, a ball was able to drop literally right in the middle of where Dansby, Ozzie, Ender, and Kakes were. Ozzie probably was the closest, but it was just far enough into right that Kakes or Ender maybe should have had it. As far as I’m concerned, they need to clean it up, but it wasn’t an egregious misplay. It’s a ball that landed in the absolute perfect spot.

    Then Acuna turned the wrong way on a fly ball directly over his head, but he corrected and made the catch. He’s been mostly playing center, and the ball doesn’t hook the way it does to left on a right-handed hitter.

    Everybody’s got something to work on, but we lived to tell about it.

  37. I think I have to start paying serious attention again. Our winning percentage is over .600 now. This is not a fluke.

    One competent major league GM makes such a big difference.

  38. I don’t understand pulling Soroka after 6, but Snitker pro had a plan from the start. It’s just great that we can enjoy an incredibly successful first start.

  39. @63 As someone that played all three positions in the OF in HS at a level high enough to get at least one college scholarship offer I can attest that there are major differences in the three positions.

    Frankly, I felt that playing RF was the most difficult as most balls are slicing either direction away from you, and its difficult to see, etc. And the throw is long.

    I made more ‘incredible’ plays in CF but I also felt that it was easier to play because of the visual angle that you get from that vantage point.

    LF was the easiest as balls hit to left typically are more in a straight line but the transition between positions is much more difficult than people understand. And, fwiw, I was doing it in front of 300 people, not 30K.

  40. I am all for protecting young arms…for those of you who didn’t get a chance to see how bobby managed a very promising young arm named Steve Avery. Poor Avery burned out after three 200+ innings at age 21-23.

  41. I didn’t watch the game, but at a certain point, when your rookie starter beats Noah Syndergaard because the two youngest players in the major leagues led off the game with hits and your first baseman and cleanup hitter followed up by driving three runs home before the Mutts record an out, you have to admit it’s a little hard to complain about your team.

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