Cubs 3, Braves 2

The thing about this year’s team is that they are usually in control. They typically get out in front early (towards the top of the league in first inning runs), they stay in front, and it may be a close game, but they close the deal. They were .700 in one-run games coming into this game. They haven’t blown a lot of leads (only three blown saves, tied for best in baseball), and their defense is good enough that they don’t let bad defense let teams back in. But I count two games where fans would say they “let it get away”, and both were to the Cubs. You remember the game where we blew the big lead in the terrible weather, and then last night.

We had another overall dominant but short performance from the starting pitcher. Mike Foltynewicz went 5, struck out 10, and gave up one unearned run. Luiz Gohara pitched a terrific 2 1/3 of an inning long performance, and Dan Winkler brought it to Arodys Vizcaino in the ninth. Usually that’s a game we win, but Vizzy blew the save in the 9th, and we had consecutive bad calls in the fifth that took a run off the board and a runner off third base.

I’m sure you’ve already seen it, but this was the call at the plate that was not overturned: Contreras gets Camargo at home. Even if Montgomery did get the helmet, it’s hard to see how he wasn’t safe. With Vizzy’s blown save, that would have been an eventual game-tying run the Braves badly needed. But that’s modern-day baseball. We have replay, the technology works, but sometimes, for whatever reason, the boys in NYC find themselves agreeing with the boys in blue even if the video seems to suggest otherwise.

Personally, I don’t make much of Vizzy’s blown save. He’s not an elite closer, and there were no delusions of grandeur when we entered the season with him. If his save percentage decreases, then I think that’s cause for alarm. Minter is also getting some save opportunities, and between Winkler and Minter, maybe natural selection kicks in somewhere.

39 thoughts on “Cubs 3, Braves 2”

  1. I think we didn’t read the fine print on all the Coppy penalties. They included the less publicized penalty of, “whenever in doubt, the Atlanta baseball team shall lose replay challenges for the foreseeable future.”

  2. I forgot it was Tuesday. Have I mentioned that I’m relatively old, and my hobbies include blunt force concussive trauma?

  3. Yeah that’ll do that.

    Chopcast’s episode is on the closer spot, and I almost don’t want to listen to it (though I will). Vizzy is who we thought he was: a mediocre closer. Winkler has clearly been our best reliever, but if you put him in the 9th, you lose the fireman utility he’s been really good in. Sometimes your closer just blows a game, nothing more.

  4. I’d at least kick the tires on Craig Kimbrel this off-season. This pen needs its Billy Wagner.

  5. @172 from previous thread:

    It’s certainly true that Braves media are an annoyingly whiny lot. They’re still complaining about that loss to the Cubs in Wrigley on the cold, windy day as if it’s some miscarriage of justice that it went in the L column, and that’s the example of this that has most gotten on my nerves this year. It was crappy pitching, plain and simple. For God’s sake, if it were as impossible to pitch that day as Jim/Don/Grab Bag Traveling Analyst and Chip/Joe have been claiming since, that game would’ve finished 42-41 and would’ve lasted until 1 a.m. local time!

    I don’t have a problem with complaining about a horseshit call that has an effect on the outcome of the game on the day that it happens and maybe a bit as part of the general narrative going forward on the next day. It’s when they’re still complaining that the umpires screwed us in July if we’re a game out of first or something that it’ll get mighty irritating. And you can see that coming from a mile away in this instance.

    On the “clear and convincing evidence” thing, I tend to see on a bunch of these calls where an umpire could say that there’s not enough evidence to overturn. “Clear and convincing” means you have to be 75 percent sure that the call was wrong to overturn it, generally speaking, and I think a lot of times people get upset on a lot of 60-40 calls that probably don’t meet the “clear and convincing” standard of evidence. However, last night’s case was pretty absurd, and clearly met the “clear and convincing” standard by any reasonable definition.

  6. In previous eras that first L at the Cubs would have been called in the seventh. There’s no way you value player safety and play that game past 6 or 7 innings. But MLB is stupid and wants eyeballs and 9 innings, even if they’re in the Lands of Always Winter.

  7. Alex, when you said that our relief pitching depth issues were behind us, was that sarcasm?

  8. Did the Royce Ring/Chad Bell joke not give it away? Alex had a great thread yesterday.

  9. AJ Minter hasn’t impressed me either. He has no off speed pitch and was thisclose to blowing the first game. Plus his command sucks.

    Winkler and Carle have been our best 2 relievers, and frankly since more high leverage fireman type situations often happen in the 6th-8th than the 9th, I would leave Vizzy as the 9th inning guy for now.

    The Braves will probably have to get some bullpen help in July via trade.

  10. 6 — AA has already indicated that the Braves will be interested in signing Kimbrel.

  11. @8

    And yet the Cubs managed to hold us completely scoreless during the very innings where you “couldn’t even grip the baseball,” or so I’m told. How very odd!

  12. @12 I agree that Minter needs better offspeed stuff – specifically slower. He uses his cutter that way but it’s only 5mph less than the FB. If he learned Kimbrel’s knuckle-curve, he’d be a monster.

    I don’t agree that he has poor command. All of his pitches are on the edges and he’s not getting many calls. Not like Folty who’s all over the place (Nuke LaLoush style). I think he got strike calls on many of these in the minors but not in the majors. I honestly think he just needs to make a minor adjustment in his targeting.

  13. Flaherty may be a pumpkin (no great surprise there) but Shane Carle is showing no signs of turning orange.

  14. Nick is back to being GB Nick.

    Is it my imagination or are these two teams the most evenly matched teams in the league?

  15. @25 I checked and he did throw a nice changeup to the first batter for a swinging strike. He can do it, but I’m not sure why he doesn’t do it more.

  16. I’m in the consensus that Minter needs something more different than his fastball, and he may become unhittable.

    I feel like Chip is having fun this year.

  17. I don’t think it’s been mentioned on here that Lane Adams is now in the Cubs organization but hasn’t yet appeared at AAA.

  18. I feel like Lane Adams if he ever got 500 ABs would be a pretty productive MLB player. Always felt that the Braves didn’t have a need for him as a regular, but a bad team could do worse.

  19. Hell, if he continues at this pace he’ll threaten Ruth’s single season XBH record. Even with the inevitable slow-down he might threaten Berkman’s switch-hitter record. And honestly who knows what is and ain’t evitable for this kid.

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