Rockies 4, Braves 2 – Phake News

Welcome to “Phake News,” the most accurate Philadelphia Phillies based reporting most of you will read today, probably.

While we await the Phillies Sunday evening game in Williamsport, home of the Little League World Series, we can already report that our so-called competitors, the Braves, have collapsed into a first place tie in the division.  The Braves have now lost 8 of their last 20, and are fading fast.

Today’s culprits include Ronald Acuna Jr., who failed to lead off the game by getting on base, and Ozzie Albies, who has struggled this season to the tune of a .277 batting average and 21 home runs.  The Braves have stupidly entrusted 2 line up spots to 2 of the youngest players in the league, and it will surely be their downfall.  It does not speak well of the Braves veterans that these youngsters are 3rd and 1st on the team in home runs, respectively.

The Phillies will undoubtedly be huge favorites this evening in Williamsport, as we are already experienced at playing all of our home games in a Little League stadium.  If only it was not the Mets…

The Braves come to Pittsburgh Monday, if they dare to even enter into the same Commonwealth as the Phillies juggernaut.

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.

201 thoughts on “Rockies 4, Braves 2 – Phake News”

  1. This is a real buzzkill. We just completely stink against the NL West. Haven’t wanted a team to get out of town this bad in a while.

  2. Is it me, or have the Braves been doing this all year? Where they win some games, lose some games, etc.? If feels like if they won ten straight, they’d instantly turn around and lose like eight of nine to follow that.

  3. I’m not sure what the data says, but it hasn’t been my impression that the Braves have actually really been all that streaky.

    In other news, Ronald has more WAR and more home runs in less PAs than Juan Soto, so if the Braves make the playoffs, I think Ronald may end up with the RoY after all.

  4. @7–they did have that stretch in late May where they had won 5 in a row on the road, including the sweep in which they crushed the Mets, and then came home and got swept by the Giants.
    Right after the Giants series, the Braves won 6 of 7.

  5. It is amazing how quickly momentum can change in baseball. 4 game sweep to 4 games swept. Kind of nice that while the Braves were getting swept by a good Rockies team the Phillies went 2 and 3 against a bad Mets team and the gnats went 1 and 2 against an even badder Marlins team.

  6. Yeah, it’s pretty great to lose 4 straight games but only lose, I think, a half game in the standings. 87 wins got you the 2nd Wild Card spot last year, and it looks like it won’t be much different this year.

    The worst division winner last year won 92 games, and it looks like two division winners won’t even crack 90 this year. There may be 4 playoff teams this year that won’t exceed 90 wins.

  7. Kyle Wright had another strong 7 inning performance tonight. That’s his second straight 7 IP outing for AAA. Still plenty of optimism with a AAA rotation of Wright, Touki, Gohara, Wilson, and Allard.

  8. So who’s the best team? The guys that sweep the Marlins in four and then got swept by the Rockies or the guys that split with the Red Sox and lose 3/5 against the shmets? The first team is 4-4 and the second team 3-4 (and hence a half game down).

    I agree with whoever said it. The division is likely decided in the last 7 games against the Phightin’s. And if we are better than they are head-to-head (40-19 looked good to me in division), we win.

  9. BTW, anyone that thinks Anibal is a pumpkin after 6 2/3 of 3 run ball is out of his mind. I would be thrilled with that performance any time. 3 of our 4 starters were fantastic this weekend (Teheran, Folty, and Anibal). The bullpen stunk and the hitting was marginal.

  10. I just noticed the Rockies have a -12 run differential. Are they for real, or just pretenders/posers? It’s hard to see them not finishing third in the NL West.

  11. 4 game sweep to 4 games swept.

    Perspective: Would it have been half as frustrating had the Braves won 2/4 against the Marlins and then 2/4 against the Rockies? Their overall record would be the same.

  12. Losing to the Marlins is definitely more galling than losing to the Rox, but the reappearance of Hibernation Mode has been deeply distressing to witness. The bats have been sleeping like a hungover Millennial on Sunday morning.

  13. As we debate the merits of our own field general, I think we can all agree that DJ Durkin should be fired.

  14. This is first an old story that I might have used on this site before.

    During the late 30’s, Durocher was Player / Manager for the Dodgers. They were playing in Wrigley Field in shifting wind conditions. Early in the game, a ball was hit in the air to leftfield. The leftfielder wobbled one way, then the other, then lunged and missed the ball. This happened again that inning.

    When the inning was finally over Durocher told the left fielder, “Give me your damn glove and I’ll show you how to play left field.”

    Ball hit to leftfield. Durocher tried to settle under it, wobbled one way, back the other, and the ball dropped in.

    When the inning ended and Durocher came in he slung the glove at the leftfielder and said “Son, you’ve f….. up left field so bad that nobody can play it.”

    I raise this at this time because the write up artists for the past 4 days have really messed this up and I don’t know if I can fix it.

  15. I think all of our criticism of Snitker, no matter how valid, should be framed in terms that understand he may be a leading contender for manager of the year. The team has played much better with him at the helm going back to the middle of last year.

    In the same vein, all of our pitching additions have been absolutely stellar even if they blow the occasional game. Brach and Venters with ERAs at 1 or less (Brach FIP = 1.55 and Venters = 3.03) and Gausman is at 2.85 over 3 starts (FIP = 3.37). Both Minter and Brach have high BABIPs Against so they have been somewhat unlucky and have room to get better.

    We can talk about adjusting the lineup to boost our hitters (take pressure off strugglers and move up hot hitters) and proper handling of the bullpen (putting pitchers in a position where their strengths are accentuated), but we’re still in a great position with the second best record in the league (by percentage points over the D’Backs) and should have the capability to put a run together to salt this thing away.

  16. I think a more established manager would have done better than Martinez, but Washington wouldn’t have done that considering how disposable and fungible they view their managers. But someone older like Randolph wouldn’t have cost that much as Baker, so there would have been that happy medium.

    All things considered, a guy like Snitker would have been great for Washington’s club. Older, more experienced, doesn’t cost much, isn’t a big personality, player’s manager. It would have fit right in with the way their FO views managers.

    For all of the frustrations about Snit, he’s easily the best manager in the NL East.

  17. Gabe Kapler has done a great job in Philly, so I think it’s probably him. I frankly don’t think they have the raw talent we do, and they’ve greatly exceeded my own expectations.

    But I’ve gone from a major Snitker skeptic — he seemed like a rockheaded old-school guy who got the job because he was cheap and loyal, because the Braves hate conducting searches — to a Snitker believer. He really does seem to get his guys to play their best for him, and that’s what matters most.

  18. NIcely done, Rusty. In a sport where the best teams win 60 percent of their games and the worst win 40 percent there’s always going to be a lot of streakiness and long periods of aimlessness. The human desire to impose patterns on the patternless has simple emotional correlatives: hope and despair. They are the Scylla and Charybdis of rational thought. My last classical allusion for the day.

  19. By the way, apropos of nothing, I just went to Louisville for a wedding. Against the Grain Brewing has a brewpub at the Louisville Bats minor league stadium right on Main Street, across from the Angel’s Envy distillery, and there was a guy spinning records by the tables the brewpub had outside. I asked him what local bands I should listen to if I like Slint.

    He said you gotta listen to Jaye Jayle.

  20. @29 – Thanks, Scylla and Charybdis was kind of what I was going for, so I’m glad someone picked up on that. (BRB, checking Wikipedia for a sec.)

  21. Scylla and Charybdis
    atop their villa very often they undid this
    seductive sirens ‘twixt two rocky points
    the sailors drawn, one of the classier joints.

  22. @30

    Alex, you won’t believe this but nearing my ninth decade i’m beginning to get it, your music. Playing Jaye Jayle it suddenly makes sense after watching the penultimate episode of Sharp Objects last night, where they make powerful use of ‘this’ to chill and mystify. As did True Detective a couple of years ago, the immortal Fargo from back when and now even Saul.

    So my question is, am i on the right track? all very different to going out to hear a band of course. And how would the cognoscenti name ‘this’, generically.? Thanks.

  23. I’m embarrassed to admit I actually haven’t seen Sharp Objects, True Detective, or Better Call Saul! But I’m really glad you’re digging it, because I sure am. Something about Jaye Jayle said something to me, and in a strange way that I can’t even really define, it felt to me like that band could have been from Cabbagetown.

  24. @35

    Thanks. So is there a generic word for what Jaye Jayle and others such do? Indie/techno ? just guessing !

  25. Wilson will be the youngest pitcher to appear in a game this year. Crazy. Soroka, Allard, Acuna, and Wilson all under 21.

  26. Hard not to feel bad personally for Flaherty, especially with the whole Markakis story, but he’s been god awful. When’s the last time he had a hit?

  27. I think Carter was President.

    Ryan Flaherty got paid a lot of money no other team or profession would pay him to hang out with his brother-in-law all day and not be good at his job. He seems like a really nice guy, but if they can upgrade the roster, then great.

    Alright, so we have a 6-man rotation, 8-man pen, and 3-man bench. Your show, Thoppy. But let’s be honest; the bench has been Culberson and nobody else for a while. Might as well make it closer to official.

  28. Has anyone ever written how Flaherty ended up with Markakis’ sister?

    Kakes: You single?
    Flaherty: Yeah….
    Kakes: I’ve got someone I want to introduce you to.
    Flaherty: Yeah? What’s she like?
    Kakes: You’re going to love her. She’s just like me. No personality. Kinda looks like me too. Ok, ok, I’ll just tell you. It’s my sister!

  29. I don’t like all the unannounced shenanigans this theme pulls with our little operation, but I have to say that I like the new font. But if you don’t, hey, I didn’t pick it.

  30. Snit gave him opportunities, albeit in a pinch hit capacity. He did a nice job filling in at the beginning of the season. He’ll be invited back next alumni weekend and Chip will refer to him as “Braves great Ryan Flaherty.”

  31. I’m embarrassed to admit I actually haven’t seen Sharp Objects, True Detective, or Better Call Saul!

    Yes, blazon. You’re on the right track. A lot of these bands are sculpting atmospherics. Painting with broad, hazy sonic strokes to create a certain feeling. Think of it as abstract expressionism via American rock-pop instrumentation.

    And good on you for keeping on keeping on for new experiences into the twilight years. I know people who haven’t listened to a new sound since they were in high school. I find it aethetically and morally horrifying.

  32. Plus, they’ll probably call him back up in September if they have a 40-man spot. And if they don’t, then you pretty much have your answer there.

  33. @51: Unless he’s picked up by the Nationals or the Mets. Isn’t he still hitting better than Bautista?

  34. No one will mourn the passing of the Ryan Flaherty era, but as of right now, the Braves have no LHB on their bench unless Duvall is starting for Ender. They should address that.

  35. If Chase D’Arnaud can find a way into an MLB starting lineup, there’s hope for Ryan Flaherty.

  36. Sam and Alex…

    thank you both

    Sam…’sculpting atmospherics’, i love that…your phrase?

    Bryse Wilson…YES!

  37. Great thread. Nice to see you kids playing sweet.

    Maybe next year is THE YEAR. Where are all these babies coming from? Holey Moley!

    Congrats on spreading your wings, Blazon. Me, Kris and John Prine will keep the home fires burning.

    You boys just run along and play now. Just don’t do nothing Willie wouldn’t.

    Hope the Braves got enough Gerber’s to go round.


  38. Ender is batting 2nd with Albies moving down to 6th. Albies is struggling, but Ender isn’t the answer up there either…plus it now puts 3 LHB in a row 2nd through 4th in the batting order.

  39. @61 I see Snitker is listening to me… haha. Good move with Archer on the mound. Acuna is gonna murder Archer, mark my words. I am shocked at the Wilson promotion. I’m hypoed to see how well he does, but it makes little sense for the future (unless some big trade is in the works with other 40-man players). But Bell was outrighted at the same time as Flaherty being DFA’d so the empty 40-man spot was retained. If McCarthy is recalled we’re going to be in a very tight spot trying to call someone else up on Sept 1st unless Moylan or Ricardo Sanchez or Sam Freeman are DFA’d. I’m guessing we’re going to be seeing a lot of Freeman to gauge whether he’s going to be DFA’d before Sept 1st.

    Wilson is now THE youngest player on the team – 2 days younger than Ronald. That is really a 180 for AA after what he said over the winter.

    @34 blazon, ninth decade?? Excellent! *bows down and genuflects at your longevity and retention of faculties* May you be around forever. And may we all be so lucky to say the same.

  40. I like the idea of having 3 lefties in a row a couple of times through the order against a righty, and worry about some hypothetical matchup problem in a critical situation that may or may not ever materialize later.

  41. DOB said this kid reminded him of Jaret Wright with his delivery and build. I think that’s a good call.

  42. ‪If you’re not going to win 110 games, the next best is to see young talent after young talent fly through. ‬

    I’m liking Bryse Wilson.

  43. F me, thas 4 LOB for ozzie through 3 innings :/
    that great first pitch approach :(

    on a lighter note, wilson looks great, magnitudes better than Allard

  44. Bryse Wilson reminds me a little of Pat Jarvis—who wasn’t bad for the Braves their first couple of years in ATL.
    As a sheriff, he was another story.

  45. They’re throwing almost nothing but four-seamers the first time through the order. I think they’ll need to mix it up the second time through. So far, so good. Certainly like Bryse better than Archer.

  46. I’m at work still and just saw a couple twitter highlights but Wilson’s delivery is effortless and the ball is 95+. He’s lightyears ahead of Allard, IMO.

    And agree, looks like Jaret Wright. Reminds me alot of how 70s pitchers looked.

  47. I think they wanted to at least give Allard a run through, and this things can probably change so quickly that they might have very well felt like Allard was a smidge farther along. But Soroka and Touki have not been brought up to hang out in long relief, and Allard, Gohara, and Fried have. It could be circumstantial, but that may say something about their view of the prospects. Interested to see what they do with Wilson.

  48. Well that’s nice. Archer is out of the game. Would love to get deep into their pen.

  49. Ozzie has been terrible at the plate in August. And somehow, Dansby has still been worse. This has to get better.

  50. Five innings. Nice job, kid. Let’s turn these baserunners into runs and get you the ‘W.’

  51. ozzie is not…at least right now

    I think he has something like one extra base hit in over a month

  52. There is no reason Sam Freeman should ever pitch in a game unless we’re winning or losing by 10 runs.

  53. I would say God has forsaken the braves, but this is caused in large part by human stupidity.

  54. @111

    Almost anybody would’ve been a more appropriate choice, including almost all of our right-handers!

  55. It’s almost as if Snitker is saying to AA “You put this clown on my roster, so I’m going to do this!”

  56. Freeman is a wild card. Can’t think of a better way to describe him. He’s demonstrated he’s just as talented as the others, but he’s also demonstrated he’s a gas can.

  57. I think Duvall missed a HR by like 2 inches.
    Hey, a hit! maybe he just belongs in the NL central

  58. All those wasted scoring opportunities in the first six innings make you nervous. Here is the chance to overcome that. Surely they won’t waste another (and sorry for calling you Shirley)

  59. Well, we’d better not allow a run, because it’s abundantly clear that we’re not gonna score another.

  60. My bad. I jinxed that one. Turns out, they surely could waste another scoring opportunity.

  61. What happened? I saw the Braves had runners on first and second and no one out, then I blinked and they had three outs.

  62. Yes, wasted opportunities all night long. Boy, this team loves winning (and losing) ugly. That sequence was just awful. Why can’t someone lay down a bunt to avoid a DP?

  63. @130 Acuna crushed one into a 5-4-3 and then Inciarte took one of the worst looking swings in the history of baseball and popped out SS.

  64. Not sure I like this move. I thought for sure Venters but might have left Brach in.

    OMG, someone throw a little love at Ender won’t ya’!!!

  65. something something, biddle has reverse splits, something something

    huh, a call finally goes the braves way; only about 15 or so more calls like that to even things out, NY replay crew.

  66. Yep, not enough evidence. Even under reasonable standards, I don’t think there was “clear and convincing” evidence one way or the other, but certainly not by MLB umpire standards.

  67. The replay call doesn’t change the fact that Brach was a band-aid for a bullpen that needed reconstructive surgery.

  68. @132 Why not? He’s super fast, hitting leadoff, and could easily beat one out. Considering how tonight has been going, it’s sure as heel worth a try in a 1-0 game with 1st and 2nd and no one out. Ender’s pop-out would have let Freddie have a chance with 2nd and 3rd and 2 out. Plus they were likely playing back on him, just giving the bunt away.

    Braves 1 for 12 with RISP.

  69. That’s just not true. Minter has a 93% save percentage, Vizzy will be an elite setup man, then Winkler, Carle, Biddle, Venters, Brach, and a Sobotka is a strong pen. The pen is second in MLB in FIP in the last 30 days.

  70. I would have thrown my beer bottle at the tv if Ronald had bunted in that situation.
    He hit a rocket. A couple of feet either way he would have driven in a run.

  71. Someone with an A on their cap needs to hit the baseball over the outfield wall. I forgot what they call that, but I know it’s good.

  72. Love the Venters story. To my nonprofessional eye, his stuff looks just about like it did 8 years ago. Which is pretty freaking awesome.

  73. It’s interesting because we are 10th in MLB in home runs the last 30 days. It doesn’t feel like that.

  74. @152 and everybody else…. The Braves have forgotten how to use their one truly elite weapon – speed. That is the only way to break out of a hitting slump like this – bunt, steal, take the extra base, do everything you can to put pressure on the pitcher and defense. Eventually, they’ll make a mistake and you break through. Sitting back and expecting to hit .800 with 2 out and RISP is a great way to fail. You’d have been real happy Acuna bunted if he beat it out.

  75. @162

    Tied for 8th last 7 days. I think we hit 3-4 home runs in one game almost a week ago. I bet it’s bad for 5 days, but I don’t know how to search.

  76. Cervelli seems to be quite good at this.

    @167 You gotta keep trying.

    Pirates bullpen seems to be pretty good.

  77. As I’ve made clear I’m no fan of the sac bunt, but I was surprised Snit didn’t call for it when Dansby led off the ninth with a hit. He tried hit and run instead but Charlie couldn’t make contact.

  78. I think Bobby would have sent Minter in for the ninth so he wouldn’t have another day to dwell on what happened Saturday.

  79. Wow. Freese must be an awful bunter to replace him with Musgrove just to bunt.

    Oh, oops, Gameday messed that up….

  80. Wow, what a great pitching performance on the road all around. That will restore some confidence.

  81. Let’s see. 1) The Pirates are NOT the Rockies.
    2) Wilson is a great pitcher.
    3) Ender just saved us a win. We need to bow down to the God of CF.

    The future of our rotation is very bright.

  82. 1) I honestly can’t believe we won this game. A solid contender for most frustrating win of the year, but boy did we need it.

    2) That umpire was complete and utter trash. Strike one for Winkler on that last at-bat was most welcome, but it was an absolute joke. Nowhere near the outside corner.

  83. Some of it was bad hitting, but we had a lot of bad luck tonight. We could hit about the same tomorrow and score 8 runs. Let’s hope the extra day of rest will be a great help for our starting pitching staff.

  84. You know, Snitker did OK with the bullpen tonight. You gotta give him credit. Snitker’s bullpen management might to be so controversial if the relievers would occasionally do their jobs on cue.

  85. Soroka, Wilson, and Toussaint have looked pretty brilliant, and Fried and Gohara have showed plenty of potential. Only Allard has failed to show much in his couple of chances. That’s three 20-year-olds, two 22-year-olds (Gohara just recently celebrated his 22nd), and Fried’s the old man of the bunch at 24. Plus, Riley’s knocking at the door, and Drew Waters is storming down the pike.

    The major league team is good and the reinforcements are looking like they just might be even better.

  86. @174

    Great TN write up. Hope you appreciated for the first time in three years I refrained from asking if your quarter back was afraid to throw the ball.

    And Ozzie batting right handed against a leftie pitcher was just as awful. I had been about to post he should not switch hit for the rest of the season. Still think he should change!

    Ender’s throw, fabulous. Kurt is hitting the ball hard again this week. He will consistently outhit Flowers through October.

  87. From FG:

    NL Lineup Analysis
    by Jeff Zimmerman
    August 20, 2018


    This lineup is scary consistent.

  88. @194 I have not followed either team for the whole season but the Rockies have only come on lately. And they hit much much better than the Pirates. That is the point. Now the Rockies pitching is likely much much worse than the Pirates. The issue here is run scoring and the Pirates have played 5 1-0 games in a row and lost three of them. That’s a lot worse run scoring than the Rockies and also much worse than the Braves. Most of those 1-0 games were against the Cubs who are no slouches at the plate, which goes to show how well the Pirates can pitch.

  89. Wow. We have our own Bryse now I guess.
    What a gutsy performance and great to see his parents as well. What a night for Braves-Bryse.

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