Braves 4, Pads 2. Anibal is Aniballin’. Sorry.

At the beginning of this homestand, we had 14 games in front of us against seemingly inferior opponents, and 12 of those games were at home. We’re 4-0 so far. Taking care of business against the bad teams is something good teams do. It was infuriating to see our team lose 13 of 19 games to the Phillies last year. Were we better than the Phillies? Maybe, maybe not. But we probably weren’t as bad as a 6-13 record showed. This team is different.

And now it might be time to start buying into Anibal Sanchez a little bit. He may not start a postseason game for us should be make the postseason, but he has been a huge help in May and June of this year. And while winning of these games have been huge, he is providing a very helpful bridge to the next wave of young starters. He’s not quite as good as his ERA suggests. He suffers from a little bit of gopheritis (1.2 HR/9), his K rate could be a little better in today’s game (7.7 K/9), but he’s limiting baserunners (0.9 WHIP), and he’s pitched 7 strong in 2 of his last 3 starts. Not bad for the league minimum.

Otherwise, this was simply the format of a good win from a good team: strong starting pitching, timely hits, good defense, and the pen didn’t blow it. Inciarte hit a home run, and he’s now 5 for his last 10 with a couple XBH. Dan Winkler gave up a couple runs only to prove he was human.

Brandon McCarthy toes the rubber today. Sean Newcomb tomorrow.

72 thoughts on “Braves 4, Pads 2. Anibal is Aniballin’. Sorry.”

  1. Just want to continue to thank the recappers, and remind you that I’m ready when you need me. I like not having a day and being able to do a recap or post when someone is not available. Don’t be sorry and don’t be shy about asking me to cover. We all appreciate your entertaining and unique work.

    As for the comments, I think we’re all in agreement that an environment like Talking Chop is not what we’re going for. The only other place I find myself to get Braves news is Twitter. The intent of the Twitter side bars was try to bring some of the real-time news over to this site to be a “one stop shop”, if you will, for the Braves. The site design still kinda stinks, so that will be something I’ll try to improve in the offseason.

    But the problem with Twitter is you still get the hot takes and reactionary (to a fault) fans, it’s not sequential, and you have to hunt for stuff. What’s cool about here is that, in theory, you have a sequential set of comments all clearly compiled in such a way that you can enjoy Braves stuff as it comes. If more real-time stuff could be put in the comments, I think that can help, hence the attempts to more easily embed videos, pictures, and tweets. And with — according to the analytics — more people reading/commenting from your phone, I’m trying to make the mobile as good as it can be.

    So I think if people felt like including more timely information, and everybody mildly contributed and accordingly responded to it, then I think this place becomes what I think blazon is describing. If we can get there, it’d be great. If we can’t, I get it. But that’s my intent, and I think that’s where blazon is getting.

  2. Alex…you’re incorrigible, over 30 something and you want them gone to Devils Island!

    The point about our friend Anibal being he voluntarily morphed a year or so back and gave up any pretense at throwing hard and thus had to develop his off speed skills c/w ultra control. Which is what we saw yesterday and by virtue of the lower wear and tear factor at those velocities we might well see next year and beyond.

    Meanwhile, do you place any value on his mentoring skills which seem to be going down a bundle in the dugout? Best.

  3. @2 Agreed! In a perfect (video game?) world the Braves would sell him off for a B-/C+ prospect before he reverts to form and plug in Gohara/Fried etc. in his place. In reality, that’s unlikely to happen for numerous reasons, the most important of which being that Anibal is pitching well now and the Braves are surely happy to take every good inning they can get out of him while the gettin’s good.

  4. I think you could ride him a lot longer until someone is ready to push him out and still get a C+ prospect. That’s really not much of a return, and with no international free agents for a while, we’re going to be hurting in the filler prospect depth area. I’d rather receive a C+ prospect and put Wisler in the long relief role than waste Anibal there. Or trade Wisler for a C+ prospect. I think each have a similar value. I certainly wouldn’t burn up all of those 5th starters for nothing like we did for years.

  5. And yes, it does seem like Anibal has had an impact. It’s been said by the announcers that both Teheran and Soroka have benefitted from his presence.

  6. Rob…gracious, thanks.

    World Cup
    First ‘big’ match later today, Spain/Portugal, massive egos and skills on display. 2pm this afternoon on your local Fox station.

    Tonight’s Padres game. Am worried we may drop our first here in the 14 game tirade we’re on. We’ve won the last two due to excellent starting pitching and despite a very unconvincing bullpen , dreadful numbers. If we have to go back in there tonight without a positive run cushion i’m bothered.

  7. Well, given how they both looked last night, I’m guessing that we’ve managed to again back ourselves into a corner where we can’t use either of our top two relievers tonight. So I’ll agree with blazon to the extent that we’d better score five or more runs tonight, as I’m not sure our chances are super great without it.

  8. @3 blazon, don’t you know that you can’t trust anyone over 30? I’m with you on Anibal. Every championship team has to have big contributions for an unexpected source. No matter how good you are, there has to be an element of luck or should I say being at the right place at the right time. The best teams come on string after the ASB because they have been looking for the right pieces to fit in the right places on the roster and bring it all together to peak at the end of the season. To me it seems like the Braves have swapped and juked and pretty much settled on what assets are working now (with the exception of getting Acuna back).

    With regards to Michael Reed. To me he seems like what Bourjos was when he was younger. I think that is exactly what this roster is looking for – the Bourjos that was as opposed to the one that is. He may be what we hoped Lane Adams would be. What’s better is that he is 25 not 29 or 31. He would be a better L/R platoon with Tucker. And a better fielding replacement / PH / PR for the late innings. Perfect fit for 25th man on the roster.

    We have a couple of weapons left to deploy beyond Reed… Allard, Riley, Phillips, Touki, maybe Dustin. And the trade route is set up to give us a boost – Moose, Herrera, Beltre, Britton, Hamels, etc… Several rentals that won’t break the prospect bank (note: I think OFR suggestions are mostly too much to pay). This season is still wide open and has a lot of promise going forward.

    Has anyone noticed that Dansby has started hitting the ball hard again? Ozzie has started hitting again. Even Inciarte has had a couple of stellar games. Flowers is on fire. Even Freddie has taken it to another level. We are very close to putting together something really special.

  9. Gabe Burns, (hopefully) the next in line at the AJC, thinks we’ll grab both Hand and Herrera. Could you imagine in a playoff series where Newk, Folty, and Soroka gives you 5, maybe even 6 strong, and then you go some combination of Carle, Winkler, Vizzy, Minter, Hand, and Herrera? Wow, wow, wow.

    My age doesn’t allow me to remember it, but it doesn’t seem like we had that many horses in the pen in the late-90’s/early-2000’s to match the starters, and then when we did, we didn’t have the starters. The gut-wrenching years like ’96 through ’98 especially. 1999 was a good year, 2001 when we did the Rocker-for-Karsay-and-Reed deal was good, and 2002 was the year it seems like we had it all when we still had Maddux, Glavine, Millwood with Smoltz in the bullpen and the career years of Remlinger, Hammond, and Holmes to go along with the supporting pieces. But in the days of O’Ventbrel, we didn’t have the 1-2 punch in the rotation.

  10. Who wrote this recap? I refuse to believe Jorts came up with “Aniballin’.” That’s way to good for Florida Man.

  11. I think we’ll know about where our two aging starting pitchers stand in a few weeks. If McCarthy puts up a few more clunkers and/or whatever happens with Anibal, we’ll probably see a move. It’s pretty hard to convince me that unless you think you’re a bonafide World Series contender, that winning the division is really important and every win absolutely counts that you need 2/5 of your rotation occupied with McCarthy and Anibal while Fried, Allard and Gohara are not. I’m not saying you should be giving starts to Matt Wisler or Lucas Sims, but I don’t like this.

    You didn’t think I’d get a few days in without mentioning Wisler, did you?

  12. @ 10: never trust anyone under 75.

    Anibal has earned his keep. I enjoy seeing Newk, Soroka and Julio attending him on the bench during the games. He seems to be willing to share the lessons experience taught him.

  13. Annibal’s metamorphosis is complete…

    You might say…

    he’s grown accustomed to his pace.

  14. We so clearly made the right decision with Freeman vs. Heyward, even though Heyward’s decisions obviously made it easier for us to build around Freddie.

  15. The results always seem to favor the second guy brought up with us. Francoeur and B-Mac, Heyward and FF5, …. Swanson and Albies?

  16. So I know that I shouldn’t do this because we’ve probably talked more about Heyward on this blog than any other single player, and there are no answers, and he’s been gone for years, but still.

    The thing about Heyward is I think there’s an alternative world where he doesn’t collapse as a hitter at the exact point in time when most hitters reach their peak. I think part of the problem is that his swing has always been long and complicated and easily falls out of whack — but I think part of the problem is also that the Braves screwed with his swing and his development path got messed up in ways that didn’t necessarily have to happen.

    Rob, maybe I’m misremembering, but I thought that the Braves offered Heyward and Freeman basically the same deal and Freddie said yes and Heyward said no. Just the same as the Braves offered McCann and Francoeur the same deal, and Heap said yes and Frenchy said no. Is my memory wrong about that?

  17. Spain/Portugal repeated tonight 10 FS 1, midnight local fox station..terrific game, 6 goals!

  18. Rob, maybe I’m misremembering, but I thought that the Braves offered Heyward and Freeman basically the same deal and Freddie said yes and Heyward said no.

    Yeah, that’s why I said it was Heyward’s decisions that made it easier to build around Freddie. I was thinking Heyward had turned down a deal and Freddie accepted his.

    Was it the same deal?

  19. @22

    “The Braves screwed with his messed up swing in an effort to get it un-messed up and maybe turn him into the hitter he had the potential to be, but they failed, and his swing was still messed up” doesn’t really present a compelling alternative narrative where he turns into an MVP candidate if they’d just left him alone (and yes, I’m sure Edward will come ’round to tell us exactly how he was actually an MVP candidate in whatever years, blah blah blah).

    I’m also not especially compelled by the development path issues, as he appeared more than ready when we called him up, and he was a major piece on a playoff team. Were we supposed to not call him up when he appeared ready?

  20. We never talk golf here. I’d just point out that it’s my messed up swing (which I’ll blame the Braves for… why not?) that has kept me off the Senior Tour. Unlike, say, Smoltz who won a place in the US Senior Open.

  21. Oh gosh, here we go.

    He was a 5.5 WAR player at the age of 22, so Edward is right that he was a near- or bonafide MVP candidate.

    One angle though is Heyward would have probably been helped much more by Seitzer than Walker and Texas Ranger or whoever the two-headed coaching tandem was. And I say that for two reasons:

    -Walker and Texas Ranger seemed to have ruined a lot of players. McCann, Ugla, BUpton, CJ, and Heyward all moved backwards at some point or to some degree during their tenure. Some of that was physical regression, but still.

    In contrast, Flowers, Suzuki, Freeman, Ender, and now Markakis have enjoyed some of their best seasons, perhaps due to the following point:
    -Seitzer seems to coach a more simplified, less power oriented approach. Limited leg kick, limited movement, a more flat plane swing, and it seems to be showing up in the stat lines and in the players’ approaches. Heyward, I think, could have used that coaching. He could have been a much more complete hitter.

    It’s hard to evaluate hitting coaches, but I feel like I see enough examples on both sides to make a couple observations.

  22. Who remembers Nick Esasky? How long did that sad drama last, how did we get him in the first place?

  23. He was a Free Agent signing. It did not last long at all. He was never right when he was a Brave.

  24. McCarthy is going to have to tighten it up or lose his rotation spot (if Teheran is healthy).

  25. You would have to think that McCarthy would be the 6th-best SP behind Teheran…

  26. Josh Ravin got hit with a line drive yesterday at Gwinnett. He has 5 facial factures and a concussion. Sheesh.

  27. Nick Esasky was a legitimate, if marginal, MVP candidate the year before he signed with Atlanta. His 855 OPS in 1989 was good for top 15 in MLB. He was in the top 10 in SLG. Nick Esasky was a bonafide superstar in late ’80s baseball. He was at the very least on the tier of Mike Moustakas and the like.

    His absolute collapse into vertigo was unforseeable and impossible to predict. He was, in fact, a fantastic signing by the Braves in 1990.

  28. @36 – Sid Bream never had a full season equal to Esasky’s best years. He was considered a better defender, but Esasky was noticeably better with the bat.

  29. It’s hard to describe how much of a low point the Esasky implosion was. He was a hell of a signing and he loved hitting in Fulton County Stadium. He would have been a monster.

  30. I expect nothing good when McCarthy starts. Except maybe his postgame tweets.

  31. When Sam Freeman checks in I chalk it up as one of the 54 losses.

  32. Way da go Snitker .. now you make the change .. can not believe you you didn’t bring on right hander .. duh

  33. Moylan needs to go. I mean really. Bullpen meltdowns have been so rare recently, I forgot how bad they felt.

    Can anyone say Herrera? Britton? Treinan? Iglesias? Please help us AA. Maybe Stammen. He’s looking pretty good.

  34. This team is too good to have San Freeman and Peter Moylan pitching high leverage situations

  35. We have reached the limits of potential success with this collection of flotsam and detritus called a “bullpen.”

  36. Moylan .. Freeman … is that out 7th inning options.. when we are up.1 run .?? Really …

  37. Albies .. please take some pitches .. you strike out more on 3 pitches than anybody I seen …

  38. ‪They’re definitely insisting on using Gohara in low leverage roles into he has consistent success. ‬He needs to settle in like ASAP.

  39. Would never happen, and this is probably a result of three drinks, but …

    Castillo, Yates and Stammen for Riley and Vizcaino. Who says no?

  40. When there is at least a scintilla of doubt, replay will always go against the Braves. Accepting this reality will set you free.

  41. Replay aside, that’s 2 times tonight where the umps got the initial call right, then overruled themselves to the wrong call.

  42. I had a Vincent HRD motorcycle which i raced a bit back when and it was customized with a Scintilla magneto, from Switzerland. Beautiful.

    Freeman actually looked quite good after they came out to bollock him until the strike 2 pitch to FF Galvis, sad. But we had this coming, i believe most of us felt that.

    Ozzie can look helpless against a real pitcher. Throwers he relishes.

  43. Thanks for all the Esasky info, fascinating, still sad. How Senzel compares with his younger condition the Reds will have to figure out for themselves.But surely it has to be the reason why they gave that big contract to Suarez, 6 years and made it clear he would be playing third, makes sense now.Nick is playing intermittently at Louisville and actually has had some productive AB’s, with power.I guess they will hold on to him till next spring and reassess.

  44. I’m reluctantly coming to the same difficult conclusion about Moylan that I did about O’Flaherty. He is a great guy, he’s shown flashes of his old self at times, but it’s time to hang up his cleats. The guy doesn’t have it anymore, but him and O’Flaherty are among my all time favorite Braves relievers. Both came out of nowhere and put up some great seasons.

  45. Bowman is indicating that Gohara might be going back to Triple A soon. One of the extra starters (he says probably McCarthy) may become a long reliever if everyone is healthy after the next turn through the rotation. Evan Phillips is also being considered as a call up soon.

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