Red Sox 8, Braves 6

A pitcher who struggles to throw strikes vs. a team second in baseball in OPS. Sean Newcomb having to face 9 AL ruffians instead of the NL’s 8. It went even worse than you would think. Newcomb had been on a roll — 0.36 ERA in May — but Boston’s lineup is too deep and too disciplined for Newk to be even off his game.

While Newk left early, it was really the pen that paced the game out of grasp. Biddle, Moylan, Freeman, and Winkler all allowed at least one run, and we couldn’t keep up.

Dansby and Acuna both hit home runs, the latter off of Craig Kimbrel in the 9th. Acuna had 3 hits, and Dansby, Nick, and Freddie each had 3 hits, so the offensive production wasn’t really the problem.

Folty vs. Sale. How bad can it be?

74 thoughts on “Red Sox 8, Braves 6”

  1. @1, It’s not the time for this right now, but the two-inning “relief” role looks more and more like the best fit for Folty. Maybe next season.

    Whether or not this triggers the Braves Journal reverse-jinx on his performance and he does well today, this still looks to be increasingly true.

  2. Maybe we’ve been thinking about this all wrong the whole time.

    Imagine a world where the distinction between starting pitcher and relief pitcher breaks down entirely. Instead, pitchers are used in way that approaches “optimal”: if Folty is only good one time through the order, then that’s how he’s deployed, BUT ONLY if the overall roster construction allows for it.

    We have so much pitching. None of it may yield a Max Scherzer who’s going 7 or 8 high-quality innings with some frequency. But if we take what’s happening right now with pitcher roles to its logical conclusion, even given the 25-man constraint, the stars may align in such a way so that Braves become the team that takes the radical step.

    Maybe that’s part of what AA meant when he said he needs to get to know the team. It’s not just about which of our pitching prospects will pan out in a traditional sense. Perhaps it’s how to maximize their talents, as they develop, in a changing roster construction environment.

  3. Fried will start tomorrow with McCarthy getting the nightcap. Looks like Anibal will start Tuesday.

  4. Chris Sale has a higher K/9 rate than any starting pitcher in the history of baseball. That is not hyperbole.

    He also has the best K to walk ratio of any starting pitcher. Ever.

  5. The next time Folty starts I’ll visit my proctologist, then get a root canal. That will be less painful.

    However, when he does find the target, he’s pretty darn good. He loses the plate too often though.

  6. @9 he’s not far off today though. Could have easily been called strike 3 to Swihart. Probably should have. This ump crew does have a pretty poor strike zone all series long.

  7. Who says we can’t knock out Sale? FF and Flow got the deal done. Yesterday’s game would have looked a lot better without Wright. How many times have some of our guys faced a knuckleball? The guy who pitched 3 scoreless is the real winner. Only Neck has any real experience with it.

  8. Can’t we look at this and say we pounded Sale and Pomeranz and had Eduardo on the ropes most of his start without being able to get over the top. Teheran only gave up 3 runs and Folty’s doing OK. Basically, all the lefties got smoked the whole series. If our bullpen had been able to outperform theirs, we’d have won the series. We need a really solid long reliever (a 6th starter type?) and a lockdown high leverage reliever. We should be able to find a long reliever among Sanchez, Gohara, Allard, Fried, etc… to augment whoever the starting five are. Bring in someone like Herrera before we see Boston again and the results might look a lot different.

  9. Acuña has the physical ability to be a good defensive outfielder, but he is going to have to learn to play angles off the wall better and take better routes.

    I guess that’s not completely surprising for a 20 year old. I think those are correctable problems.

  10. What happened? I have no video… I guess it must have been one of those awkward 1st base stretches where you hit the bag wrong? Machado tore up his knee on one of those.

  11. It’s REALLY good to have young tendons. We’ll see how it goes, but that is career-ending for a 35 year old.

  12. Roger, Acuna beat out an IF hit at first, somewhat stumble over the bag and while doing so his left leg bent the complete wrong way, hyperextending BADLY. Like nauseatingly so. And he got up and somewhat gingerly walked off! :0

  13. @24–if we are power ranking worst comments of the year, that gets my vote for #1.

  14. I’m hoping that comment was made before he got hurt and was just talking about his defense.

  15. I hope it’s just bad looking and not serious. I wish players would learn that one infield hit is not worth the risk of crapping out on the 1B bag.

    If he’s out for a while, it might be a good opportunity to give Dustin Peterson a chance. Or maybe Michael Reed.

  16. Conforming everyone’s prior thoughts by moving Neck to RF and putting Tucker in LF. If it was really about Neck’s experience with the Monster, he’d still be there.

  17. I’m glad he was able to walk off, but I remember my buddy (roughly Acuna’s age at the time) walking off a basketball court a few minutes after tearing his ACL. Ugh, that replay literally made me sick to my stomach.

  18. I’m impressed that Snit sent Foley out for the 7th. And he just got his first 7th inning out of the year.
    But I also hope the hook is pretty quick.

  19. 36 — Dustin Peterson has really cooled off of late. If Acuña is seriously hurt the job will either go to Preston Tucker full time or someone not currently in the organization.

  20. Peterson did go 1-4 with a 3 run homer today, though. Allard had a strong start, going 7 IP allowing 2 R on 2 BB and 2 K.

    Austin Riley went 2-4.

  21. I don’t want to assume Acuña will be out, but I’m not optimistic. The options for replacement in the system are not inspiring.

  22. @42 I argued for bringing in either Dickerson or Cave or Carlos Gomez on the cheap in the offseason – all of which were possible. I am watching Gomez play defense for the Rays against the O’s and he’s still got a lot left in the tank. And we needed to righty bat.

    It depends upon how serious this is. If it’s not too serious, give a kid a chance. Peterson could get hot until they get a book on him. Reed is already hot and relies as much on speed as anything. He might be able to improve the defense while adding to the small ball capabilities.

  23. Trying not to think about Acuña, and just think about Folty flirting with a no hitter and going 7 strong against the best team in baseball. That would have been almost unthinkable just a year ago.

  24. I’m not optimistic, either. I’ve seen guys walk off with a torn ACL also. And the way that looked I would be shocked if that was just a minor sprain or hyperextension.

    I imagine in the meantime, even if it’s just a 2-4 week recovery time, that Bourjos will come up to be Tucker’s defensive caddy again.

  25. 52 — Possible. He’s hitting .197, but if necessary they may kick the tires on him.

  26. I’m slightly optimistic… (and amazed). Noting that he has lower back pain as well as knee pain suggests that his back took some of the stress.

  27. ok, just saw a replay…. It looks bad but the human body is not that inflexible. Looks like he caught his spikes in the dirt. Should have kept running instead of trying to look back at the ump. It’s better to get caught in the dirt than the grass or the 1B bag because the grass or cloth will actually trap the spikes and not let go. It’s gotta cost some DL time but it didn’t necessarily look like impending surgery. Nevertheless, speed is not a perpetual commodity.

  28. I’m guessing Inciarte will go back to hitting leadoff and Albies 2nd until Acuña comes back.

  29. @57 I guess sometimes nature forces you to do what you should have done anyway.

  30. I don’t want Gomez one bit.

    I know Vizzy hasn’t pitched in a few days, but why bring him in before a Mets double header?!

  31. With regards to hitting against the Sox looks like we scored 15 runs this series and the Sox scored 15 runs this series. And last night, Winkler’s 2 runs were unearned. Just seems like taking 1 of 3 wasn’t that bad in that context. Maybe the difference being just a little bit of experience.

  32. OK, looking at it again, did anyone notice how hard he banged his lower back? I was also looking at how his head landed and I think he managed to not hit it hard. Bowman said his leg buckled over the bag but I see 100% no indication of that. He was also fine after the first toe tap. He tried to break and turn at the same time and got stuck in the dirt. I think it’s possible his back hurts worse than his leg.

  33. Just saw the replay, wow did that look bad. If he escaped without a serious knee injury its a minor miracle.

  34. @33 I don’t want Acuna to be injured. The guy makes routine outs a little too interesting to be considered a plus defender though. He very nearly missed that pop fly to end the inning.

    So yeah, if he’s hurt, which I hope not, I don’t feel like it kills the team as things are. I hope Acuna takes some time to improve his routes in the outfield.

  35. @66, Bautista is a known douche, too, and we took him on. But perhaps Cargo is an even more known douche. That may be the case.

    I missed the injury. My only acquaintance with it is what I’ve read here. It reminds me of when we lost Chipper on the cusp of the start of his major league career. Sure hope it doesn’t come to Ron losing a whole year.

    I was perusing minor league box scores and saw Travis Demeritte playing in LF. Is that his first time out there?

  36. @65–I agree that Acuña’s route running needs improvement. I’m pretty sure he will get better with time.
    But to assert that the Braves would be better off with Tucker or Bourjos or Peterson or Gomez or whoever else might be available is silly.

  37. @68 I, for one, never said we’d be better off. Just scouting options. I think playing Acuna in the majors is the right thing. Worked out just fine for Trout and he had a sketchy first year. He has been handling himself as a rookie just fine. It doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be listening to coaches about how to improve but he is progressing just fine.

  38. In other news, Cristian Pache doubled his career home run total earlier today.

  39. @69–yes, you’re fine. You notably did not say that the injury doesn’t bother you.

  40. @68 Yeah, I didn’t say that. I did say if Acuna is done to go get an OF’er. That’s because there’s no in house option to replace Acuna.

    My @24 post was also really short. I was just pissed at seeing what happened at 1B. After the 2 defensive plays and then his injury was just the turd on top of the ice cream.

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