I wrote up another 1966 retrospective, but this disaster requires me to shelve it.
September 5th 2018 was a getaway afternoon game before 28,385 plus Braves Journal stalwart Timo. Â I was watching the Red Sox broadcast which began with manager Alex Cora apologizing to fantasy players for the team he was putting on the field: no MartÃnez, no Betts, no Bogaerts, no Nunez.Â I have it on reliable information that Alex consulted with Bobby Cox on this particular getaway day lineup.
The bottom of the first was very fruitful.Â AcuÃ±a set the Bravesâ€™ record for leadoff homers with his ninth.Â An Inciarte triple and Markakis single made it 2-0 very quickly.Â Camargo followed with a single, but then the pitching coach came out to remind starting pitcher Hector VelÃ¡zquez that the point of pitching is to get the other team out.Â With that reminder, the inning fizzled after that.
In the top of the second, Lucas Duda, playing first base for a resting Freddie Freeman, demonstrated why the Mets organization is never the right place to teach you to field, giving up a run on a pure mental error.
The Braves flirted with a run in the fourth but Duda was gunned down at the plate on a Flowers double.Â Duda may not replace Freddie in the field or at the plate, but he appears to be just as fast on the bases.
VelÃ¡zquez was replaced in the 5th and obviously the new pitcher Drew Pomeranz hadnâ€™t been let in on the â€œthe point of pitching is to get the other guys outâ€ lesson.Â So he lets the first three guys on as well, including a second AcuÃ±a run, this one driven in by Markakis.Â Then the pitching coach came out.Â This time the lesson didnâ€™t take.Â Camargo walked to load the bases, and Suzuki, hitting for Duda, knocked Inciarte in on a fielderâ€™s choice.Â At that point Albies tripled to right center (whose idea was it to play Swihart at short-field softball depth in right?) driving in two more.Â Â A Flowers single drove in Albies through the drawn-in infield.
At this point itâ€™s 7-1 and the Braves have Reitsma Room, but not, apparently, Adam Duvall Room.Â Â Â So confident was Snitker at this point that he put Duvall in right field.Â Mistake.Â He struck out and looked lost on three non-plays in right, leading to two runs off Winkler.Â (Can we get Joey Bats back?)Â Venters came in and Gryboed the remaining Winkler/Duvall baserunners to make it 7-5.Â A Camargo error puts the tying runs at 2nd and 3rd with one out.Â Brach Gryboâ€™s Ventersâ€™ baserunners and now itâ€™s 7-7.Â Duvallâ€™s job done, he is removed from the game.Â Minter walks Bogaerts to load the bases and Betts comes to the plate.Â Minter gets the called strike 3.Â In the course of the top of the 8th, the Bravesâ€™ win probability went from 99.2% to 46.6%, rebounding to 60.8% when Betts struck out.
Freddieâ€™s day off ended in the double switch that removed Brach and Duvall.Â Heâ€™s looked horrible for the last week.Â So of course he hits a homer to give the Braves an 8-7 lead.Â Minter continues in the 9th. Albies makes a great play on a bloop to right by Swihart.Â Benintendi singles.Â Pearce strikes out.Â Brandon Phillips homers.Â Win Probability drops to 21.7%.
To add insult to insult, Kimbrel comes in for the save.Â Dansby strikes out on three pitches.Â Albies flies to center.Â Flowers walks.Â Lane Adams strikes out on a 3-2 count to end it.
Up to now, the worst Braves loss in the season was the Cubs game in the freezing rain.Â This was a lot worse.Â Culprits are easy to find:Â Duda, Duvall, Winkler, Brach, Minter, Camargoâ€™s error.Â Thatâ€™s way too many culprits.Â Sure itâ€™s only one game, but this one hurts.Â At least it didn’t happen in the postseason.Â If we make it to the postseason, we can lose in more conventional ways.
Well, if we don’t make the playoffs there is a small chance he’s not back.
I can’t fault a lot of his pitching calls (today is an exception) their isn’t a ton to work with.
Should he have sat Freeman and Kakes more. Yeah, probably.
He’s done a lot more good than bad with this team. Though today was bad and on him.
I don’t think we should run a white flag up the pole yet. Those seven games with the Phillies will decide the east.
What an ass-paddling of a series that was.
The Braves record against likely playoff contenders is ugly.
Given that a Braves had a 4 game lead in the division this late in the season, if the Braves should fail to make even the Wild Card, in a healthy organization, Snitker’s job would be at stake.
Being a player’s manager only goes so far. At some point when you’re in a certain scenario you have to come through. I get they didn’t think they’d contend this year but that went out the window.
And I’m NOT saying this because of just today.
Of the three finalists for worst loss listed in last thread – weather game against Chicago, blown ninth against Colorado, and this game — I’d have to say this is the worst. The weather game added some difficulty that we just may have been more uniquely less equipped to deal with. Blowing a three run lead regardless of outs or situation can happen to anyone. But we were up big, had all of our best relievers available, and blew two leads right after each other. That’s numbing and discouraging. Feel sorry for the players.
And Chief, you’ve dodged the question twice, so I’m asking you a third time: if AJ Minter is not a closer, who is? Everybody here can read. Everybody knows I’m asking you a question you’re dodging. Everybody knows you’re coming on the interwebz every time he blows a save to throw out baseless nonsense. Minter is 9th among MLB closers in WAR. 8th among closers in FIP. He strikes out over a batter an inning. Oh, and he’s a rookie.
So, what’s a closer?
Yeah Smitty, those seven games with the Phillies will decide it. I just hope we can go 3-4 on those seven and still have a lead and not have to go 5-2 to get the lead back.
Regarding Minter, I still think he can be an effective closer, but letting him throw 36 pitches today was not a great strategy.
It is a little ironic that a team not expected to contend at the beginning of the season would hold its manager accountable for not making the postseason, but I do agree that Snit’s footing is much less sure if they fail to win the division, which most likely means they don’t make the postseason. This division is ripe for the taking.
(repeating my JC’ed comment from the last thread:)
Games like this are precisely why it can be good to have a manager like Snitker (if he really is what I think he is).
This is the kind of loss that can be crippling, especially to a young team. But it doesn’t have to be. This is baseball; they play every day. The Braves could go to the west coast and take five of six and today is forgotten.
The manager’s job is to keep the team focused, looking forward, and giving their best effort in each game.
I share folks’ concern with Snit’s in-game decisions, but it’s what happens behind the clubhouse doors that’s most important right now.
Snit has made me a believer, but this is how I’m feeling right now.
I’m leaving Atlanta and no worries, I won’t travel to Phoenix. So we should win again.
Adam Duvall is making Melky Cabrera look like Gary Sheffield.
Now the Braves face Greinke and Corbin in the next 2 games. This might get worse.
Minter’s command is not good, he’s wild and not in a good way, his fastball is good but not out of this world, and he doesn’t seem to have a reliable 2nd pitch.
Much like some other comparisons, sure he can be a closer. On a championship contending/WS contending team. No. And probably and maybe not ever.
An elite closer — top 3 — is good for about 3 fWAR on average every year, and not even that some years this decade. But there is only one reliever who has averaged 3 fWAR across a 5 year period — an eternity for relievers — and that’s Kenley Jansen. Even the great Aroldis Chapman and Craig Kimbrel have not been elite to that standard the last 5 years. It is almost completely unattainable to be an elite closer for even 5 years. If Minter can maintain his current level of production for the next 5 years, that’s 9 fWAR and he’ll join a list of only 7 other guys to do that the last 5 seasons — Jansen, Kimbrel, Chapman, Miller, Betances, Robertson, and Holland. Wade Davis was close. Everyone else, not so much.
Closers blow saves. Really good closers blow a ton of saves. Great and even elite closers still blow saves. AJ Minter is a rookie, and the odds say he’ll get even better. If AJ Minter is not a closer, then good luck finding one.
I mean, the Orioles HAVE a closer.
Chief, how does a closer need to perform in order to be considered a good closer? I’m even moving your goalposts for you to give you the benefit of the doubt. Is it save percentage? Is it walks per 9? Is it ERA?
Wow. What a pathetic division the NL East is.
AJ Minter is 14th among closers in walk rate. He’s an average closer in terms of his ability to limit free passes. Is that it?
FIP – Top third
WAR – Top third
Walk rate – Top half
HR rate – Top 7
K rate – Top half
Who do you want? Jeurys Familia, Closer(TM)? Some contenders don’t even have closers. The Astros, who might win the World Series, had to trade for a woman beater. They would love to have AJ Minter.
Alright, I’m done. I’ve sufficiently disproved the point. Go Barves.
Any chance Darren O’Day will be any good next year?
@9 your long trip deserved more than 3 losses.
Great job in getting the recap out so quickly. Getting it over with.
It had to be Brandon didn’t it.
Play of the day – for the Sox. First innings 4 successive hits, runs scored, base runners all over the place, still NO OUTS. Pitcher reeling from the onslaught. Lucas Duda, the first pitch he saw, check swing back to the pitcher, double play. We come away with only two runs.
@11, thank you! I might be back for the playoffs…or not.
The problem with blaming the manager for his usage of Duvall and Duda (or anyone else) is that someone else put these guys on the roster.
Sad outcome, but it’s baseball. Don’t look too long or you’ll miss a 5 game swing starting.
Didn’t see the game, but apparently Duvall was a disaster in RF and was a big reason for the rally. He has been a complete failure.
I don’t care what the expectations were coming into this season, we are where we are now. If we don’t make the playoffs from the position we were in on Labor Day, that should be seen as a disaster and result in the firing of the manager. I’m sorry, you don’t get to pull the “house money” card anymore when you have a 4-game lead in September.
For the record, I say keep him if we make the playoffs.
@25 I agree. If we make the playoffs, he gets to stay. If not, bye. I suspect that the Braves will stick with him either way.
@26 Only if you intend to show Alex Anthopolous the door, too. These are the reinforcements that have been provided while other teams literally scarfed up the Matt Adams types. There have been more than an ample supply of decent bench bats who can play decent defense at the positions of Duvall and Duda.
I’d be inclined to keep Snitker and just improve what he has to work with next year, whether we miss the playoffs or not. You could keep all the good with Snitker and offset the bad decisions by building him a better bullpen.
Rob is right in the big picture sense. Minter isn’t the problem, though with his wrestling promo-level pre-season interviews and his 2017 peripherals, I can’t help but be disappointed regardless. I do get that you want your closer to close out the big games, no matter how much WAR they accrue. And I doubt it’s unprecedented that a 1.4 fWAR reliever gets demoted from the closer role. But there’s no question it’s still Minter’s job on this team.
Another reliable above-average starter, another reliable bullpen arm, upgrading offensively where we could stand to (where it’s not a net loss because of what we may be giving up defensively)… any one of the three would’ve put us over the top this season. It’ll be nice to see all three happen this offseason.
This offseason, the Braves will have, by even the most conservative estimates, at least $40M to spend, and it could (probably will) be even higher. Kimbrel’s your best closer on the market, by far. If they can get Kimbrel for $18M (and he’s worth every bit of it and more) over a reasonable term (4 years), then would you do it? Or would you look at Arodys and Minter making about $6M total and just decide to continue to let them tag team it? Do you go sign a setup man to a $8M deal and ride with our bullpen minus Brach and plus a setup man? Unless you’re talking about trading multiple prospects for a closer already signed to a contract, then those are pretty much your only two solid options.
If you’re asking me who is going to give you the most bang for your buck in the closer’s role for the next 5 years, my answer is probably Minter. If Chief would actually articulate his point instead of shouting platitudes from the rooftops with no basis, he might actually say that Winkler should close games, today notwithstanding. He exceeds Minter in K rate, walk rate, similar HR rate, strands more runners, induces more groundballs, and has a lower opponent BABIP. If you want to limit the opposition’s ability to string together a cheap two-run rally when they’re throwing the remaining roster at you with nothing to lose, those are good qualities to have. If you want to ride the hot hand, Biddle blew everyone away in August. He was video game level on all of those stats I just cited.
I agree with Mr. Floyd that if Snit is the player’s manager that he appears to be, and actual good one, then we’re going to need him big here. They’ve got to go out west (already a tall task historically regardless of opponent) and face Greinke, Corbin, and Bucholz, who is having a very good season of his own.
I’m not certain that Brach and Winkler aren’t better than Minter. In fact, I think they probably are. It’s debatable whether Vizzy is when he is fully healthy.
What determines better or worse? I’ve asked you the same question in different ways, and the best you can come up with is “Minter walks too many guys”. Is it walk rate? Is that it?
I found it extremely frustrating that, so often during this series, our relief pitchers couldn’t start with strike one. They kept working behind in the count.
Glad I missed this. What can you really say? They need to go on the road because the pressure of the moment is clearly too much for this collective group. Those games with the Phillies are not going to matter at the current trajectory. We just got swept by a team that wasn’t even really trying. Flush it. Regroup.
Kind of a hilarious conversation during an umpire review on the Dodgers / Mets game on MLB. Something to the effect of:
“I’d like to see when a call gets overturned for an ump to slam the headset on the ground and start kicking dirt on it.”
Phillies lost again. It’s still there for the taking.
@30 That’s just out and out bullshit. Minter has better stuff than either. You are also wrong about his FB. He was hitting 98-99 early in his appearance today. Rob is right; he’s a rookie; he’ll get even better. If he would use his changeup more often that would be better. He has three good pitches but the cutter doesn’t have enough spread with the FB (93 vs 98). His changeup is closer to 88 and would be a better contrast. He is not getting good pitch calling from the catchers. The point about him not pitching 30+ pitches in an outing is probably a great point. After about 20 pitches, his FB was riding about 95 not 98. It was a 95MPH FB that Phillips hit not a 98 one.
The main difference between Kimbrel and Minter (other than handedness) is Kimbrel’s knuckle curve is a good 10MPH less than his FB. If you noticed, Kimbrel threw nothing but knuckle curves to the first two batters then turned around and started blasting away. When Minter starts using his change more, he will be unhittable. Kimbrel walks a lot of guys, too. So don’t give me any crap about control.
Moving over my comment from prior thread.
I can’t believe all the people saying the Braves don’t deserve to be in the playoffs. For all the frustration and disappointments, the Braves have, for the last month, consistently had the second best record or near second best in the league. As it stands now, just about all the contenders are equivalent excepting the Cubs. This team is really good and I don’t believe they are playing over their heads.
Now, they may fold, but I don’t believe they will. And tfloyd’s right, Snitker’s primary job is to prevent them from folding. There is absolutely nothing wrong with his bullpen choices today, the pitchers just couldn’t get it done. That was the first HR Minter has given up all year. Winkler has never had an outing where he didn’t get an out. The only thing I might fault Snit on today is pulling Folty too soon (got complacent with the big lead). And like I mentioned earlier, our bullpen is actually better than the Red Sox’s statistically. The Red Sox are one of maybe two teams that have hit better than the Braves (by AVG, there are a few others by OPS and/or WAR). There is every reason to believe the Braves can beat anybody in the NL. We can worry about matching up with the Red Sox in the WS.
One of the things today’s game shows is that keeping a perfectly static lineup is not necessarily the best way to go. Taking Freeman out allowed us to sustain a big rally. The lineup should be designed around the hot and cold hitters. WHEN Freeman gets hot again, he can get back in the third spot. In the meantime, he can get some more rest or BP or whatever. I hope this HBP doesn’t interrupt Dansby’s hitting. He obviously didn’t look good at the plate today but he should not have been playing either.
A lot went wrong late in the game but there was nothing to indicate it was a terminal issue. Helluva strategy by Cora to basically pinch hit for every batter that came up in the 8th. I guess he had the honchos to do it and every thing he did worked.
There are too many examples of teams losing games like this and it just being one loss to assume that we’re just gonna collapse from here. Especially when we still have a 3-game lead.
Best example: In late September 2011 about a week before the end of the season, does anyone remember the Cardinals completely gacking a 4-run lead in the ninth at home against the Mets? Well, they did, and everyone assumed they’d just managed to blow up their September comeback, as it dropped them two games back with six to play. Obviously, they recovered…and they didn’t have a 3-game lead at the time, either.
There’s also that 7-run lead in the eighth inning that the Braves blew against the Mets in the midst of a pennant race in 2000, and which a lot of people were worried would be a turning point in the race…it wasn’t.
Go split with Arizona and take 2-of-3 from San Francisco (or something approximating all of that) and this will be all but forgotten.
Phils lost to the Fish. Dodgers lost to the Mets. GNats slugging it out with the Cards. Seems like the bottom of the division is doing OK. The Phils are scoring fewer runs than we are.
I am not concerned about Greinke and Corbin because the D’Backs are also scoring fewer runs than we are. If this team can have a decent western road trip (I know, that’s optimistic) then the Phils cannot catch up. Jason Martinez at MLBTradeRumors didn’t think the Phils could overtake us – said so in his chat.
Getting swept by the Sox is not as bad as losing 2/3 to the Fish.
It’s becoming increasingly likely that the 2 wild cards are coming from the Central. We need to win the division.
Now that’s definitely true. This dip in form has seriously dented our wild card prospects. We’re currently a game back of the final spot after St. Louis finished off Washington and we still have to go out west.
How many times since inner-league play has two teams faced each other in the regular season and one team has swept the other then the same two teams have met again in the WS with the previously losing team becoming the winning team? I’m too lazy and it’s too early for me to want to go dig this up but I would like to know.
@30 Further, Brach has proven over and over that he is not suited to the closer role. I have watched enough of his time with the O’s to have come to that conclusion before he was a Brave. But he is a primo, even All Star, setup man.
I think we all need to realize that guys like Minter and Winkler and Venters are all fairly fragile and have had a major injury history. We do not want to break them. Both Minter and Winkler are still young and building the kind of stamina it takes to do the roles we need them for. Carle and Biddle are also rookies. Viz is on the DL. All the reinforcements are recent rookies. Brach and Freeman are really the only veterans in the bullpen.
We have a really good bullpen but mostly inexperienced. There will be occasional issues. Virtually every pitcher with significant innings on our roster has spent time on the DL this year – except Folty, Newk, and Minter.
Our division sucks. Thank goodness.
Did not see the misplay by Duvall. What was the play?
I was at the game so I’ll give my rundown:
First, way too many Red Sox fans there, it legit seemed to be 60-40 in their favor.
All of the AA pickups that appeared in this game, actively hurt the team. Duda’s DP to kill the rally in the first, followed by the fielding gaffe, then getting thrown out at the plate (more Wash’s fault than his), Duvall got a late break on the first hit of the inning off Winkler then after another blooper dropped in over Camargo, he misplayed a sure line out into a single, not to mention striking out in his only PA, Brach gave up a solid single to tie the game and Venters allowed a couple to score, though Camargo cost him with the error.
I will say you can’t have it both ways, you can’t get on Snit for not resting guys then complain about the results when he does. Pulling Kakes and having Duda in for Freeman cost us runs defensively and possbily offensively.
I don’t think Snitker could’ve handled the pen much better in this game. In hindsight, he could’ve left Biddle in for one more inning or Folty for that matter, but Winkler has been lights out and had three balls hit that would normally be outs all become singles.
At the end of the day it’s 1/162 and the NL East seems to be begging us to just win it.
I would definitely kick the tires on Kimbrel.
I think we have to go after a top of the rotation starter, back end bullpen help and decide if we want to keep Kakes or make a change at the corner.
The good thing is we can address two of the three via trade.
It’s time we stopped the personal attacks. In this thread, Chief is correct about Minter’s pitching. His problems lately aren’t easily reduced to statistics: his walk rate doesn’t capture his lack of command, his save percentage doesn’t capture the increasing number of hard hit balls and no single stat category can quantify his inconsistent-to-disappearing slider. He needs better command and an effective secondary pitch(es) to close for a pennant winning team.
The problems with this team’s bullpen go beyond Minter, who is good but prone to occasional lapses. The problem is that Winkler is nearly unusable, Brach looks like Reitsma 2.0, Jackson and Freeman are hard to trust, and you can’t use Biddle and Venters every day even if you want to.
Hopefully the youth movement, Wright and Wilson and Toussaint and so on, can help to fill in. We’ll see.
In this thread, Chief is correct about Minter’s pitching. His problems lately aren’t easily reduced to statistics: his walk rate doesn’t capture his lack of command, his save percentage doesn’t capture the increasing number of hard hit balls and no single stat category can quantify his inconsistent-to-disappearing slider. He needs better command and an effective secondary pitch(es) to close for a pennant winning team.
Uh oh. You can actually quantify a bunch of this. Is Braves Journal ready to take a trip more than halfway down a pitcher’s profile page on Fangraphs?
I guess the bigger point is: with relievers, you’re always dealing with a small sample and it’s acceptable to let the hot hand dictate who the closer (or highest-leverage reliever) should be. Nobody says, “This guy has amassed more than 1 WAR this season, I don’t care if he stinks right now, he should stay the closer.” That’s why it’s easy to sympathize with Chief on this. Minter served one up to Brandon Phillips, for crying out loud. We are all owed an apology!
I agree that Rob’s attacks on Chief went too far. The whole reason a lot of us congregate at Braves Journal is because it’s free of personal attacks for having different baseball opinions. I hope it stays that way. For me personally, I would pay any price to reacquire Kimbrel and Andrelton Simmons. Of all our moves, I thought those were the dumbest. But that’s just an old fan talking.
Agreed with Askia and frankly between the recent twitter rants and the couple of personal attacks on here, I would humbly ask our moderator Rob to tone it down. I may be alone in feeling this way and I greatly appreciate the time and effort put in by Rob on this site.
On the argument I side with Chief anyway. Minter was dominant for a stretch, but has looked very hittable at times and has lacked the ability to put guys away lately, and it seems to me to be lack of confidence or lack of ability with secondary pitches.
He is young and may have the tools to put it all together, he certainly did for a time, but count me as concerned.
I don’t know Chief and am not a fan of everything he posts. Nonetheless I have been very disappointed in the repeated attacks, baiting and mocking against him. It only serves to demean the one doing it. That it comes from the site administrator is all the more disturbing. More maturity and respect is called for and the site administrator should have the maturity to set the tone.
Max Fried called up.
I’ll defend Rob. I don’t think he crossed any lines. There was no name-calling. All he was doing was asking Chief — pointedly — to defend his argument. That all seems fine.
No safe spaces for commenters who only post during/after losses!
Chief created the climate. Maybe Rob should have “turned the other cheek.” But again and again Chief has said things on the level of sophistication of “Minter sucks.” When asked what he means by that he in effect says “Minter sucks.” After 43 or so responses it gets hard to keep up the charade of respect.
When 90% of your posts are negative during and after losses and/or taking a dump on young players, of which we have quite a bit and will not always play welll, then you’re under a different set of rules than basically anyone else. Chief is in his own category.
I didn’t think I got personal other than calling him out specifically that he was refusing to answer my question, but if I did get personal, I’m sorry. That was not my intent.
Dusty, I went ahead and removed my connection to Braves Journal on my personal account and I removed myself from the Braves Journal twitter account to not misrepresent this site. I don’t talk politics on here, obviously, and not on Facebook either, and I specifically use Twitter to talk about whatever I want. And I’m sorry if that offends you, but I hope you recognize the disconnection from Braves Journal that I’m attempting to make, and I understand if you need to unfollow me. I would unfollow me too.
I do, Rob and that’s perfectly fair. I actually don’t mind the political stuff and didn’t put together that they were separate accounts, my bad there. You are just in my Braves feed, so I conflated the two.
Thanks for responding on the other front, I don’t think you said anything particularly personal, I think we just aren’t used to the site admin picking on the complainers, the old guard just let the rest of us beat them down and stayed out of it. Not saying that is the best way, just perhaps what people are responding to.
All that being said, you are certainly more active on here and have done a great job with constant content and it’s greatly appreciated.
Peterson claimed by the Tigers.
Dusty, I can’t guarantee I won’t respond to Chief similarly in the future. It’s only Chief, though. But thank you. It’s really the recappers, though, that carry the freight, especially with how long the baseball season is.
I thought that’s what Chief was here for. Now I feel like a horrible human person…
I like their summary of where Peterson is as a player.
I hate West Coast games and their 9:40 starting times.
Let me be the bold naysayer on the whole Kimbrel deal. I would absolutely not sign Kimbrel as a FA. He will cost more than just about any other reliever and would be a waste of the extra money it would cost to sign a Herrera or Familia. I would say this even if Kimbrel hadn’t lost a step or two this year (his FIP is 2 runs higher this year than last year and he is walking 4.4 betters per nine, year before last it was over 5 per nine so Kimbrel has plenty of control issues). You can get equivalent performance or very close to it for a guy pitching about 70 innings per year for much less money or even develop it internally.
On that point, Minter is definitively the closer of the future. He has had to step in likely earlier than expected because Viz can’t stay healthy. As I mentioned before, he needs to have another pitch that’s got more spread than his cutter. And his biggest issue is that his cutter is not getting as many people out as it did in the minors. He has an adjustment to make and we’ve seen he can flash an incredible changeup and just needs to be willing to do it.
We need to bring in some star power on the hitting side (obviously, my choice has been Harper). We need someone not just capable of hitting HRs but someone capable of winning a HR title. The biggest mistake teams have made on FAs is buying ones who were good “last year” and are going over the hill. The Braves should only spend FA money on guys less than about 31 (Harper, Grandal, Corbin, etc…) and definitely not on high cost relievers.
Whoever said Winkler is unusable is just plain wrong (@49) and it’s not a very smart thing to say. Dusty is right; Winkler has generally been lights out. He is likely wearing down some and likely had some bad luck due to defensive lapses in his last outing. But that certainly does not make him “unusable”.
This whole team needs to find their second wind. We’re lucky with Acuna because he had some significant time off earlier in the season so he’s fresher than everyone else. Our pitching is too good for this team to lose too many games. Our hitters just need to catch back up again.
Actually, the dry heat in Arizona might feel better than the oppressive humidity in Hotlanta. They might just have an unexpectedly strong rebound. And San Fran might be even chilly.
Further, if Austin Riley becomes our 3B for the future contending with the likes of Suarez and Arenado then the Kimbrel trade will look really good. Did the Padres get anything near as good for him?
Hate to lose Dustin who was listed as our 15th best prospect (doesn’t say much for 16-30). But I think the Braves may see Reed as a better player at this point (with others who are better coming and FAs on the horizon). I just thought that Dustin might make a good addition to any trade we propose during the offseason. Losing Dustin was the price of calling up Wright.
@66 We have someone very capable of winning a home run title. You know who.
And it’s been my hope that we would add Bryce Harper and have two of the best home run hitting outfielders in the game.
For now I can only imagine a lineup featuring Acuna, Harper, and Freeman at the heart of it.
Yeah, I don’t believe in paying more than $10 million AAV for a reliever. I’d rather get two or three Will Harrises for the same money it would cost for one Kimbrel.
The one who said Winkler looks unusable is me. He has looked scarily unstable for a while now. Obviously, I’m overreacting to a single horrendous game, but yesterday was as bad as a reliever can be. He’s really more just in Luke Jackson territory — fine except for the times he isn’t. But I certainly won’t be able to trust him at all this month, even in a blowout.
I think it’s maybe easier for me to get over terrible games like yesterday only because this team has outperformed my wildest imagination and we’re still in really good shape.
Are we favorites to advance in the playoffs? Nope. We’re likely the worst team in the tournament if we make it. Doesn’t matter. I’m so happy just to have this conversation. And if we get in then anything can happen. Acuna might hit 5 HRs in a series. Folty might pitch 2 shutouts. The other team might (*gasp*) choke and wet the bed. Let’s just find out.
I’ll say this: if we’re up 6+ runs late and want to rest Biddle and Venters, then put Kyle Wright or Touki in – unless the plan is to start both of them (which I kinda doubt).
We called up Fried again too, so that’s another guy that could probably protect big lead or eat long relief innings.
So Todd Frazier admitted to knowingly switching a real ball with a rubber ball to cheat. Surely that’s grounds for a suspension, right?
@72 He should get an extra out for his team for pulling something like that off. But yeah, I think he could get suspended. Well done, Frazier.
Definitely should be. A long one, at that.
I actually read the article now. I thought he’d taken a rubber ball onto the field for the express purpose of fooling the umpire, the way I read your post. Finding out it wasn’t premeditated, I still think he should be suspended for a couple of games, but I retract the comment that it should be a long one.
Greinke is barely hitting 90 on his FB. If he can be considered to be an elite pitcher then Julio might be able to get there, too.
IIRC, Greinke was sitting higher the last time we faced him.
On a day we lost Burt, here comes Kurt.
ZUK!!! This game seems to be going well so far.
The ball seems to fly farther in the dry desert air.
I am so pissed. The game is supposed to be on MLB Network but it’s not.
You don’t have MLB.TV?
I ain’t payin’ for it.
Leads are overrated.
Nick Ahmed has turned out to be pretty good.
Dangit. Need to get a pitcher past the third inning.
I guess we need to keep scoring. Now might be a good time to PH for Anibal.
It’s always the ex braves screwing us over…. Anibal didn’t get a single borderline call that inning, though.
We need to make sure Kenshin Kawakami stays retired. He could be dangerous to us.
That’s three Greinke pitches at less than 70 MPH. The last one was called an Eephus.
Not sure you can call an 87 MPH pitch after an Eephus a “changeup”. And, of course, Freddie whiffed.
Why didn’t Ender try to run at all???? A perfect time, especially when Freddie got 2 strikes.
Man, Greinke is throwing every piece of junk he owns.
It’s about time someone smashed that junk. Way to go Johan.
Tucker may actually be our best PH.
Damn, damn, damn. Someone’s got to get a critical hit sometime!
Johan Camargo is so much better than we ever thought and it’s so great.
Sam Freeman? Seriously?
Sam Freeman. Can see how much Snitker thinks the team needs to win this game.
They just put the game up on MLB. Why is Weiss making the lineup change? Where is Snit?
Well , Walt Weiss, if it was your call to put in Sam “gas can” freeman, you are hereby discarded from future manager discussions.
And freeman should’ve caught that on the fly and had an easy double play
Gawdawful call on a checked swing.
@98: Snit ejected for arguing balls and strikes on an obvious strike called a ball.
There’s that no good bum, Winkler. What a horrible pitcher. Glad he’s on the mound instead of Freeman now. He should be given a save if we win this game.
I sure would like to see Wright in the eighth.
@101 Thanks. I wonder how I missed that. Ah, I found it in the gameday description. I must have been too mad at the walk to notice it.
I think I’ve seen this movie before. Winkler, Venters (Brach, Minter). I’d like to think we would not repeat ourselves completely. Maybe use a fresher pitcher.
Great pitch by Venters. He’s getting dialed in. Not only got an out but got Souza out….. LOL
Guess I spoke too soon.
Jesus, not Luke Jackson. Why why why?? Why not Wright when he hasn’t pitched in a while?
The nibbling is killing our pitchers tonight because the d backs quit chasing. Now our answer is Luke Jackson…
My hatred of Matt Ryan is reaching unhealthy levels. I need the Braves to balance things out. Let’s go pen.
LOL..Luke Jackson doing Luke Jackson things
Why Luke Jackson! again?
Luke Jackson. I know there are only shaky options, but cripes. And he should NOT be pitching to a RHB.
I think the title of this games recap is probably going to be “ugh: the sequel”.
With these bullpen decisions it seems like Snit must still be calling the shots from the clubhouse
“I don’t believe what I just saw.”
Lucked out on ball 4. Thank goodness he swung.
Well, there really aren’t any other choices
We have to pitch somebody from our own bullpen. At some point, I don’t know what you do. And thinking that Kyle Wright, the starting pitcher, would be a good idea in a do-or-die relief situation when Jackson has gotten out of several of those jams seems kind of suspect to me.
And now we’re about to have Closer Jessie Biddle, so the fun isn’t over yet.
If you are ok with Sam Freeman in a close game, then you should be ok with literally anyone on the roster being brought in.
Well, that’ll help.
Yeah, Freeman I agree with you. I think Jackson has earned a little more respect than to assume he’s the kiss of death, though.
Well, hold onto your hats.
Uncle Jesse has this. Probably. Maybe.
I think many here want Touki to start game one of the playoffs with Wright coming on for a three inning save.
These guys have like 14 innings in the MLB
Brach warming up. Again, there are only shaky options.
Okay. Try Wright
Not quite how I wanted the inning to start.
I wonder how long it’s going to take the Dbacks to score 3 in the 9th…
What I want is an effective fresh pitcher. Not using Wright at all is insane. Every other pitcher seems to be shaky in some way even when they do something well. Every one of these pitchers has been used so much, there’s no way to know what to expect.
The dreaded two outs in the ninth again.
Minter and Brach must be unavailable.
Our pitchers nibble waaaaay too much
What on Earth are you doing, Biddle? You might as well put that on a tee.
Well, one more to go…until the inevitable. I’m starting to hate this team.
Remember when Brad Ausmus did that in a playoff game?
That’s poor pitch calling. No way they should be slowing a slow curve there. He would have had that HR two pitches earlier if Biddle had thrown either of the last two slow curves for strikes. He’s got a 95MPH FB that Goldy hadn’t squared up and should have used it.
“And Goldschimdt takes away Sanchez’s win”
That is the least of our worries, Chip.
What is it gonna take for them to use Wright or Wilson????
Another wasted Freddie run late in the game. Dang.
That hanging slider was utterly predictable.
Didn’t Wright pitch 2 innings just 2 days ago?
And the winning run is on…will Brito do it, or will they have to settle for winning in the 10th on a walk off HR?
Vizzy’s arm trouble has really hurt us.
I now hope this game goes 20 innings, just to see what Snit comes up with.
He had two strikes, so we had to start bouncing balls.
No way you throw him anything he can hit
This bullpen is terrible right now. Not a single guy out there can be counted on to do anything other than blow the game.
That was a terrible pitch on 1-2.
Y’all are looking at this too pessimistically. Unlike yesterday, today we only lost a four run lead. We actually got to extra innings. So we’re playing *much* better.
@147: Snit was ejected. It’s Walter William Weiss.
I don’t blame Snit for this. The entire pen blows.
Can Minter not pitch today?
At least Freeman and Jackson have already pitched.
We pretty much have to score here dont we.
@144 Sept 4th. three days ago. In garbage time.
you have to be shitting me
Dansby is an idiot.
Horrible baserunning. That may have cost the game, but it’s inevitable.
Dansby wanted to do a favor for the team that drafted him, I reckon.
We need an Acuña bomb. Or just a hit.
Okay, Ender. Up to you.
Ron Washington seriously should’ve knocked Dansby unconscious and called for a pinch-runner. What an imbecile!
This umpire is awful.
Apparently Chip and Joe are blind as well as dumb. Dansby clearly didn’t miss the base, but he did slip on it.
I’ll take a run anyway I can get it.
Unbelievable. Thank you, random Japanese reliever!
ok we need one more to feel good about making it to the 11th
So, who’s our next contestant?
At least the wild pitch made up for Swanson’s boner.
Kameron Loe is unavailable.
Bad Brad, it is.
So is Dan Kolb.
Oh, crap, Chip’s talking about launch angle again.
Brach isn’t going to make it easy.
Brach has such weird mechanics. It looks like he throws strikes accidentally.
Can we please, for the love of God, get the final out of a game?
YEAH!!! We got one!! WOW!
Glad to be wrong. I need some easy wins. My heart can’t take this.
Holy shit…I was standing up to throw something across the room when that died in Acuna’s glove.
So we’ve learned that Ildemaro Vargas is no Brandon Phillips. But he is the best Ildemaro in MLB history.
Before anyone goes off too much on Dansby, remember that his SB set up the whole scenario. Someone finally decided to get off their butt and be aggressive.
he’ll tomorrow be our argus
a giant with 100 eyes
that one pass ball their full demise.
recapped–and off to bed
@187 well said, we are far too passive on the bases.
Brach. Finally then, has our Oriole friend over come his mental block about closing out a game as detailed by Roger earlier today.
The meatball to Goldschmidt should be in the Chamber of Horrors.
Chip and Joe collectively were good tonight.
Solo, Joe was very good – funny, observant. His best night for a long time.