Braves 6, Cardinals 5

The Braves broke it open with 5 runs in the 6th; all the King’s bullpen put it back together again.

The Braves took the lead in the 2nd on doubles by Tyler Flowers and Charlie Culberson, and Mike Foltynewicz shut down the Cardinals, allowing 1 hit and striking out 9.  However, excessive heat and 86 pitches held Foltzie to 5 innings of work.  Shane Carle‘s scoreless 6th could not be replicated in the 7th, as he allowed 2 runs before yielding to Jesse Biddle.  A fielder’s choice and a walk led to Peter Moylan, and as g’day follows night so followed a 3 run homer to Tommy PhamDan Winkler and A.J. Minter restored order in the 8th and 9th respectively.

The Braves other 4 hits came in the fateful 6th, started by a single by Ozzie Albies, and followed by a homer from Freddie FreemanRonald Acuna beat out an infield hit, and let the umpire call him safe there; similar hustle plays got him to third, then home.  Charlie Culberson’s 2nd hit drove in his 2nd run.

The Braves stand at 48 – 34, and hold a 3.5 game lead over the Phillies, followed by assorted others.  It is July 1 now, and this is happening.

The Braves have trusted their season thus far to 23 different pitchers.  Whatever the plan was going into this season, the plan going forward should involve only the organization’s best players seeing the Major League roster.  Get it done, AA.

At Yankee Stadium on Monday.

Author: Rusty S.

Rusty S. is a Braves Journal reader since 2005 and an occasional innings-eater. It was my understanding that there would be no expectations.

144 thoughts on “Braves 6, Cardinals 5”

  1. Good stuff. Thank you.

    The bullpen is distracting, but the play(s) of the game were Acuna’s hustle around the bases.

  2. All these conversations on the bullpen and how bad the manager is using the relievers are basically the same conversations we had in the 90s with JS and Bobby. So I guess we are doing fine.

    So, again, when are we getting the Penas and the Reardons so we can lose couple of World Series?

  3. Awesome to see Freddie get back into the action. I will have to say though, wouldn’t we have lost 2 out of 3 instead of sweeping the Cardinals if Acuna was still on the DL?

  4. I was overstating the case, but Acuna’s 3 for 5 on Saturday was definitely a catalyst. His hustle plays today definitely made a huge difference.

  5. I like Snit and I think he’s a good fit for AA and the Braves but this is an odd comment:

    On his decision to lift Jesse Biddle for Peter Moylan, who gave up a three-run homer to Tommy Pham: “It was playing match-ups right there. Biddle’s good against right-handed hitters. At that point in time, I’m not going to second guess myself. That’s what we’ve got Peter down there for, to go after the right-handers. If I had to do it over, I’d do it again.” (from ajc)

  6. @6 /7

    Fun, yes, and absolutely right that Acuna’s play on the bases counted hugely in a one run victory. Used to think Ozzie’s running on the bases intimidated and it does . But together this is a whole new level. They will have all our opponents talking. Please be careful, guys, fingers etc.

    Woke in the middle of the night thinking about Folty, wondering how close he might have been to heat stroke that afternoon. What do i know. Because he’s such a demonstrative person anyway maybe he was no worse off than the other pitchers toiling away at the same time. Slight reassurance, perhaps.

  7. Thank you, Rusty. Well recapped.

    I am pleased with Camargo; but hey, I wouldn’t complain about Nolan. Johan as ninth position player would be outstanding.

  8. @9 It does sound odd considering Biddle has been money vs RHB. In the past, Moylan was also money vs RHB. So I thought perhaps Moylan has faced Pham (it would have been during interleague play in 2017) and maybe the past matchup data is the matchup Snitker is referring to.

    I dislike bad managerial decisions such as going to the struggling veteran in a higher leverage situation like that. I’ve got to think they have some numerical support for that call or that it was a preference for the veteran Moylan to go after Pham’s mechanical flaws.

    Well it didn’t work out. Moylan’s 39. I think we’re safe to call him done.

  9. Take that, state of Missouri.

    Also, Moylan’s splits vs RHB .315/.405/.493
    vs LHB .296/.457/.407

    Basically, he has no business in the Majors and as many have said, he’s certainly not the guy you want with runners on base.

  10. The average hitter who has faced Peter Moylan this year is about Freddie Freeman. So maybe it is 4 parts Freddie and one part Johan Camargo.

    Moylan is a good guy, but he is done. If we were 5 games out of the wildcard (which was possible going into this year), then it might not be an issue. But with so many exemplary pitching talents in the system to hold onto Moylan and not “let one of the young guys give it a go” is really pretty dumb.

  11. Certainly occupying one of Snit’s bullpen spots with Peter Moylan is about the same as taking away a 25-man roster spot and taking away one bullpen arm.

    Maybe now we will part ways with Moylan? Or maybe if some trade occurs, we will then use Moylan’s roster spot for the incomer?

  12. The starters were top notch in St. Louis. But does a team with serious plans to content field a bullpen that gives up ten earned runs in three games?

  13. Eh… I think it’s more complicated than just the bullpen giving up those runs. If the starters could go an extra inning, that would help. But then they probably don’t lead the NL in starter ERA if they do that. Then, the bullpen ERA would probably look a lot better, true. The bullpen has needed an addition all season, and I hope we’re approaching that point.

  14. When I was younger, I got annoyed by the way that Bobby Cox used to run relievers into the ground. (Along with Tony La Russa, who basically invented the modern closer role with Dennis Eckersley in Oakland, Bobby is basically the manager most responsible for extreme reliever specialization via lefty-righty matchups.)

    But then, mostly thanks to this blog, I realized that relievers have two and only two jobs. One of those jobs is to preserve leads. The other job is to keep the starters from getting hurt through overuse. You’d prefer a thousand relief Tommy Johns to a single starter getting TJ surgery.

    At the end of the day, if the Braves got the sweep and Folty and Newcomb and Fried are all looking healthy and deadly, you gotta have a Coke and a smile.

  15. @20, The most reasonably thought-out RANKING of any sort of POWER is actually:

    1) the power to walk away from POWER RANKINGS

  16. Yes. Finally a positive post that highlights a good outcome of Snitker’s bullpen use: Our starting rotation is flourishing under a light workload.

  17. Michael Reed and Evan Phillips called up, Moylan to the 10-Day DL, Wisler to AAA.

    Was Reed on the 40-Man?

  18. Wisler optioned. Moylan to the DL with right forearm suckitude. Michael Reed and Evan Phillips called up.

  19. Still no Vizzy, however. We’re also not really hearing much about him.

  20. I don’t know why I assumed Reed was a lumbering 1B/LF type. He has actually played a good bit of CF and has 132 SB in the minors. How he wouldn’t have been an improvement over Santana and Bourjos all this time IDK.

    That said, these are welcome moves and with the DH in use, lets hope Reed gets a start or three (we all know it’s going to be Santana right?)

  21. Someone will have to be moved off the 40 man to make room for Reed.

    Edit: I take that back, there was a spot open since Bourjos was DFA’ed.

  22. I can’t imagine we’ll see Moylan back anytime soon, if at all.

    I know it’s only one addition and two subtractions, but I think it frames up the pen well. I believe Freeman’s FIP (3.58), especially with his K, H, and HR rates are very good. It’s his walk rate that has really hurt him, and if you look at the game logs, he tends to struggle with his command when he pitches 3 times a week or on back-to-back days. It seems so incredibly obvious to me that Freeman is just simply over-used, and that’s his only issue.

    The optimum roster is very close to getting here, and I can’t help but rosterbate a tick:

    Rotation: Newcomb, Folty, Teheran, Anibal, Fried
    Bullpen: Vizzy, Minter, Winkler, Carle, Biddle, Freeman, Phillips, McCarthy

    This would require Jackson to be DFA’ed again. It also assumes Fried will be kept in the rotation at the expense of McCarthy. But if they can’t do that, then they don’t deserve to be an elite team, as far as I’m concerned. They could let this roster roll all the way to the trading deadline before I feel like they could truly know if that unit can’t perform. This would also put a stop to the Gwinnett Shuffle, and keep Gohara, Allard, Touki (gotta be due for a promotion, Wisler, Parsons, and Sims all fighting for 5 spots in Gwinnett.

    And of course, I just jinxed us.

  23. Culberson is basically the 9th position player coop was referring to earlier in regards to how Camargo would be played if they acquired an elite 3B. Culberson is basically playing the role Ben Zobrist does for Chicago or Marwin Gonzalez for the Astros.

  24. Vizcaino is likely to be activated tomorrow per Bowman and DOB. I guess Phillips won’t be up long this time either.

    This is why Michael Reed is here:

  25. @37

    Not something we can feel good about.

    Doing the right thing for the wrong reason. Weak.

  26. Let’s hope Sam Freeman goes to the DL for inability to pitch or he is dfa’d and Philips sticks for more than a day.

  27. For those looking forward to not caring about the Braves’ prospects, you may be getting your way soon. Acuna, Soroka, Gohara and Fried all stand to graduate from prospect rankings soon (all 3 pitchers are within 10-15 ML IPs away). So you’re probably looking at a top 3, in some order, of Riley, Wright, and Allard. If you don’t love Allard, are not yet ready to get hyped about Wright with his inconsistency at AA, and not consider Riley to be the uber-position player prospects like Acuna and Albies, then you may be a little underwhelmed. The top 5 will probably be some combination of Wright, Allard, Riley, Touki, and Joey Wentz, I guess.

    It’s still probably as deep as ever with 15-17 B- prospects or better, though. Wright, Allard, Riley, Touki, Wentz, Pache, Anderson, Muller, Wilson, Contreras, Waters, Tarnok, Stewart, and Jackson are locks for that grade. Weigel being healthy and throwing off a mind might get him back. I’ll be very interested to see where they grade Bruce Zimmerman, Jasseel de la Cruz, and Huascar Ynoa.

    Speaking of Zimmerman, you may be interested in following him as a legitimate sleeper prospect. He is a LHP that was dominating A- as a 23-year old, so they decided he would leapfrog A+ and go to AA. He allowed 1 run across 6.1 IP in his first AA start. He could make the pitching race interesting. He also has a killer stache:

  28. My .500 BABIP
    a thing of beauty i think you’ll agree
    is perfectly explainable
    despite the fact all others find it unattainable.

    IT’S SO ADVANCED THOUGH I SIMPLY CAN’T PUT IT INTO WORDS THAT YOU WOULD UNDERSTAND.

  29. Michael Reed
    has now provisionally agreed
    to reveal his modus operandi
    he’ll speak at Wharton said Potus, handy.

  30. @39 Pache’s on pace for about 10 HRs. This after not hitting 1 in 3 years. Although his OBP is below .300 and he’s hitting .274; with his defensive skills, I could see him making MLB, but only as a bench player/4th or 5th outfielder.

  31. He’s top 100 because he’s athletic and fast, and very young. My top 100 would be filled with guys that already can play baseball, not raw talent that’s still learning. But…nobody gives af about my top 100, so there’s that, lol.

    (Seriously, that’s a lot of work, making a list of your top 100…in any category…)

  32. I only saw a brief replay so I may be mistaken, but could Culberson have gotten close enough to that Judge HR to try and catch it? On the replay I saw it looked like he was slowly jogging over to the ball, like maybe he thought it was going to hit the fence, and then the ball landed in what looked like the first row. Culberson doesn’t seem like a guy who doesn’t give 100% so maybe I saw it wrong, was curious what others thought.

  33. There may come a day where the Atlanta Braves play the New York Yankees in the World Series. I’m quite confident Anibal Sanchez won’t be a starting pitcher for us.

  34. 42 — Remember when Ryan Flaherty started so hot? His falling off is what happens when BABIP normalizes.

  35. Doubles machines.

  36. Izzy Wilson promoted to A+. Would love a major league roster with names like Freddie, Ender, Johan, Dansby, Ronald, Ozzie, and Izzy. Pitching’s kinda boring: Mike, Sean, Julio, Dan, A.J., Sam, Evan.

  37. 49 — Right now, Anibal would be the Game 4 starter in a postseason series. Presumably behind Folty, Newk, and Teheran.

  38. I’ve seen Acuña make some 20 year old mistakes the last couple of days defensively.

  39. @59

    I would bet quite a bit that either Soroka, Allard, Gohara, or Fried step up or Anibal turns back into a pumpkin. Would love to be wrong though.

  40. My guess is that the Braves would prefer not to start a rookie pitcher in the playoffs unless someone knocks their socks off. (Like if Fried pitches lights out the rest of the way)

  41. Who gets to pitch the 7th? Carle pitched a lot yesterday. I’d go with Biddle.

  42. Biddle doesn’t seem to have earned Snit’s trust yet if he is still behind Freeman in the pecking order. (And he chose Moylan against the middle of the order yesterday.)

    2 of the guys due up are RHB.

  43. I haven’t really blamed Snitker much for the bullpen usage to this point, but going with Freeman here makes no sense.

  44. My mama told me you can’t defend a base on balls. I HATE walks.

    Shoot either Sam or me. Or both of us.

  45. I’m beginning to re-think my defense of Snit’s bullpen management.

  46. And now after 2 walks, Freeman will pitch to Judge. Someone please explain platoon splits to Snit.

  47. I don’t know why everyone was so nervous about Freeman the Lesser. He obviously had the situation under control.

  48. I can’t read lips that well, but it looked like Snit’s mound visit was NSFW.

  49. NSFW = not safe for work. In other words he was cussing him out

    Tinder is a hook up app.

  50. A little surprised the Yanks aren’t using their challenge on that, considering there are 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th. They get a new challenge in extras.

  51. Snit is probably grinning about how Biddle’s reverse splits re-inverted themselves for the first two batters.

  52. Jean Carlos Encarnacion, a 3B at Rome who’s really gained some helium, has checked in at 26th on our Pipeline list after Acuna’s graduation.

  53. Their pen is just blowing us away, and with ours you feel like you are on an out of control ride and barely hanging on. And yet somehow we’re in extras. Maybe Moylan will get the win.

  54. Come on Freddie .. take a couple pitches… u pull it into the shift .. no patience..

  55. Braves win somehow. Somehow Braves win.

    Tomorrow, good people, we’ll give ’em heck again.

  56. The Braves have a 3.5 game lead over the Phillies and a 7 game lead over the Natspos.

  57. Great win tonight. Kinda concerned about available bullpen arms with Winkler, Biddle and Minter working back to back or throwing a lot of pitches

  58. @49

    Why choose this time to deprecate his efforts for us such as tonight against this lineup?

    And another pumpkin reference later.

    Freeman 0 for 5. Justifiable target!

    @112

    Thought exactly the same. And yet…..

    @99 Share your concern.

    @94/95 Yes, Hernandez.

  59. Barring a roster move, whenever Newcomb departs, we’ll have Evan Phillips, Luke Jackson, and Shane Carle available. Freeman threw 15 pitches tonight, so maybe he can go again. Winkler, Minter, and Biddle have worked back-to-back.

    Vizzy could be back, or we could use Newk’s first CG. Shoot, his first 8 IP performance or his 4th 7 IP outing in 35 career GS would work.

  60. @128

    Definitely, the right choice. Discuss with your Barber.

    also…was there not a shot of Jackson warming up late? Jeez.

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