Braves 9, Diamondbacks 5

Return to Ender.

With the Adam Duvall experiment long come to a close, Ender Inciarte drew the start against the lefty Robbie Ray, and it paid off big time in the 9th with the Braves down a run, as Inciarte hit a go-ahead 3 run homer off the right-hander Brad Boxberger.  That looked like fun, so Lucas Duda homered, Ronald Acuna Jr. tripled, and Johan Camargo homered, and the Braves had put together a 6 run 9th.

The late fireworks obscured what started out as a pitcher’s duel.  Touki Toussaint broke up Ray’s no-hitter in the 6th with a 1 out single, and scored the game’s first run in front of Acuna’s 25th home run of the season. In addition to collecting his first Major League hit, Toussaint threw 5 2/3 innings of 2 hit ball.  However, 5 walks contributed to a total of 105 pitches, only 56 of which were strikes, and the Diamondbacks took a 4 – 2 lead in the bottom of the 6th.

With 1 out in the 6th, A.J. Pollock singled, and Daniel Descalso walked.  Touki could have gotten out of it, as Steven Souza followed with a potential double-play ball, but Ozzie Albies judged that Dansby Swanson could not get to the 2nd base bag in time.  Ozzie eschewed the force, took the sure out at first, and the Braves turned it over to Luke Jackson.

Luke really could have used the force. He allowed 3 hits and a walk, and had to turn it over to Chad Sobotka to get the 3rd out. 2 runs were charged to Toussaint; 2 runs were charged to Jackson.

Acuna scored the 2nd of his 3 runs in the 8th following a walk, a ground out, and a Freddie Freeman single.  Freeman and Albies joined Acuna with 2 hits.  Brad Brach allowed the final run while closing it out in the 9th.  Sam Freeman pitched a hitless 8th, and got the win.  The bullpen added 4 walks in their 3 1/3 innings.

The Braves take the series 3 – 1, and hold a 4.5 game lead in the NL East.

At San Francisco 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.

99 thoughts on “Braves 9, Diamondbacks 5”

  1. The Giants have lost eight straight. Hopefully the Braves won’t make them look like the greatest team in the majors, as they did back in early May.

  2. Watching the Red Sox/Astros game. They should just do away with replay except for boundary calls. The play at the plate with Altuve was close, but it seems clear he got his hand in before the tag. It wasn’t an egregious call, but why even bother to review it if you aren’t trying to get the close plays right?

  3. Because they’re not trying to get the close plays right. They’re trying to get them not badly wrong. As to *why* that’s what they’re trying to do, well, your guess is as good as mine. But they gave up trying to get plays right after the first season of replay.

  4. Then just look at it once, and if it’s not obviously wrong call it good and move on. Its ridiculous to have these interminable delays for no good reason.

  5. Craig, if you’re going to have a beard, have the good sense to keep it neatly trimmed and not look like an extra from Deliverance.

  6. I’d like to see us 5-6 games ahead when we first see the Phillies. The biggest threat we have right now is Hurricane Florence messing up the gNats series.

  7. Good job by the weekend commentators pulling them through. I will try to get Monday back going tonight.

    At least it won’t be hot “by the bay.” A taste of October baseball weather. Call it “Fall Training.”

  8. @9 probably saying the same thing, but I’d like to see that magic number in single digits by then. if we can get it to 8 or 9, split the home series against the Phills, that gets us to 4 or 5 with Phillies going up against Colorado. Honestly, staring at this calendar for so long, just want it to flip to October already.

    This is fun though.

  9. How about that awful umpiring crew?
    Any crew with Joe West should be doing the Reds-Padres series this time of year.

    They were terrible to both teams

  10. Two 10:15 PM starts. An off-day Thursday, and a hurricane threatening an entire 3-game series. I hope we weren’t looking to watch a lot of Braves baseball this week.

  11. You could tell he was still finding his legs in terms of when/how to chime in, but I enjoyed what I heard of Medlen in the radio booth yesterday. I can’t remember the exact quotes, but during Ender’s 9th-inning at-bat, Powell had set him up to extol the virtues of Ender squaring to bunt (which he did at least twice; thankfully both pitches were balls), and there was a bit of a pause & Medlen said something to the effect of ‘maybe it’s just my years in the American League, but I don’t really get the whole bunting thing.’ And then after the HR, he said something great like ‘this is why I don’t like bunting!’

  12. Not that we’ve been much better, but Philly might be about a .500 team from now until we come into town. If we both go .500 from now and until then — one of us will, one of us will be a little better — then that’s 18 9 games off the magic number there. Our magic number is 16 right now.

    If we went 9-10 the rest of the way, they would have to go 12-8 to tie us. Not saying they can’t, but I’m not sure that’s going to happen. Of course, every win above 9-10 means they’re getting into some really tough territory: 13-7, 14-6, 15-5. That’s… probably not happening.

    Watch it happen.

  13. @AtlMagicNumber would be the Twitter account you’d want to follow if you want to keep track of it.

  14. Granted Philly will have a pretty big impact on our record the rest of the way and vice versa.

    For all the talk about schedules, PHI .518 is actually tougher than ATL .503 for the rest of the season. But this week will be big I think, we play at SF and home vs. WAS (in theory) and they play WAS and MIA at home. Per 538, ATL is favored in 4 of 6 games (underdog tonight and FRI vs Scherzer) and Philly is favored in 5 of 6 (only a dog Tuesday and they miss Scherzer).

  15. Idea for a poll question:

    How many games will ATL need to win in PHI in the last series of the season to win the division:

    0 (we can hope)
    1 (my guess)
    2 (would take a lot of things going wrong)
    3 (wha happened?)

  16. I’d be interested in seeing how much of the gap between our remaining SOS (.503), and Philly’s remaining SOS (.518) comes down to “they have to play us, while we get to play them.”

    My assumption is that they’re calculating that SOS number based on record and/or run differential for the opposing teams remaining, and, well, we have a better record than PHL, so playing us would be “harder” than playing them.

  17. Removing the head to head games, we have:

    3 @ SFG
    3 vs WAS
    3 vs STL
    3 @ NYM

    They have:

    3 vs WAS
    3 vs MIA
    3 vs NYM
    4 @ COL

    The Mets and Nats series cancel each other out. Colorado and STL are neck and neck in the WC race (0.5 games separate them.) So it comes down to San Fran (68 wins) vs Miami (56 wins.)

    We have a slightly harder schedule.

  18. But to your point, then they have a slightly harder schedule because they have to play us and we play them. I really think it averages out at that point.

    Vizzy could be activated as early as Wednesday. So we’d have him for the weekend series with Washington. Apparently Jose Ramirez is close as well. So to play the 40-man game again, the only names I can think of would be Flaherty, Ricardo Sanchez, Parsons, and McCreery.

    By the way, if you think that Flaherty is somehow magically helping Nick play better — a dubious, but not statistically ridiculous argument to make — then you’d have 4 players for 2 bench spots for the playoffs: Duda, Flaherty, Duvall, and Adams. Culberson and Flowzuki are a lock. If it’s me, I’ve got Duda and Adams for those last two spots.

  19. I listed to a couple of innings of Medlen, and I agree with the assessment. He was still finding comfort, but he had good analysis. May they be trying out options to be able to move guys around in an attempt to replace Joe. How about just Byrd to the booth, Joe to Siberia?

  20. @28

    Flaherty can be in the dugout and in the clubhouse for as much of the postseason as he likes, but we absolutely can’t waste a postseason roster spot on him. If he is providing any help to Nick, just having him around should do the trick, anyway.

    Of those four, Duda should be a lock, as he’s the only of those four actually providing any value, anyway. If Duvall would do *anything* between now and the end of the season, I’d pick him, as I don’t think Adams is good for much more than pinch-running. But as it stands now, a designated pinch-runner is more valuable than whatever it is that Adams is providing.

  21. I think Medlen was the best of the lot as far as Jim’s rotating analysts this year. He’s raw, but I think there was a lot of potential there.

    They might have two analysts to replace soon. Joe has his well-documented issues which they might be sick of, and they still haven’t acknowledged whatever health issue is going on with Don, but it’s clear that something is.

    I will say that I think Joe has been better since the two-week period where he severely stepped in it twice. I mean, he’s clearly still not exactly modern in his baseball thinking, but it seems that he’s dialed the curmudgeon meter back several notches. It’ll be interesting to see what they do with him over the offseason, and if Turner Sports again employs him for their postseason coverage.

    UPDATE: The last sentence of the post before this one should’ve ended “more valuable than whatever it is that Duvall is providing” BTW.

  22. I’m assuming you meant Duvall in your last sentence, and I agree. In a short series, though, I like the bench comprised of PH vs. RHP (Duda), PH vs. LHP (Culbersn), and PR (Adams) with two OFs (Culberson and Adams) and two INF (Culberson and Duda). And I hope we’d be willing to eat the second catcher if we really liked a match-up with one of them or avoiding burning Culberson with almost no backup at 3B, 2B, and SS for the remainder of the game. You could be looking at Freeman playing 3B if the fit hit the shan.

  23. agree with the overall assessment of Medlen in the booth. I think my expectations were for something approaching Smoltz, but as on the mound, he came up predictably short of the hall of famer.

    He did describe one of Touki’s fastballs as a ‘fuzz-pellet’. that made me laugh out loud.

  24. On Medlen as a radio commentator. I liked him. Pretty interesting insight on pitching. He was not afraid to call out bad pitches, even when they produced good results.

    As far as schedule goes, I said about 2 weeks ago that I would feel good about our chances if we came out of the 10 game stretch that ends this week in SF with a 4-6 record and 2.5 games up. We’ve won 3 games so far and we’re 3.5 up.

    Barring a total meltdown or Philadelphia completely turning things around, I think we’re in great shape. I would give us an 80 percent chance of winning the division right now. 2 out of 3 from SF, and Philly losing 2 of 3 against the Nats will all but end the Phillies season imo.

  25. Of the analysts they’ve had on periodically, I would rank them:

    1) Byrd
    2) Frenchy
    3) Medlen, so far

    On entertainment value, I have Frenchy ahead of the others. He’s just funny in a very goofy way, and I’m not totally sure he’s trying to be all the time.

  26. Interesting. Billy and DeRo took apart the non-double play in the 6th inning with Albies taking the sure out, second out at first. They called it the perfect storm for Albies with Dansby not positioned correctly and Albies doing the right thing to throw over to get the runner on first. Tough luck for Touki though who got what he was looking for, a double-play ball.

  27. If we can take the first two against San Fran, that allows you to rest Nick and/or Freeman (or anyone else who needs it)

  28. @34 I think the Braves are up 4.5. If they can take at least one from the Giants, they’re going to be in really good shape.

    Of course, if they could go on a tear right about now and sweep the Giants, we can put the whole discussion to bed early.

  29. How can any one of us mere mortals attempt to predict the results of any thing when one of our own goes up to bunt, fails comprehensively to do so twice, and then hits a 432 feet home run that in a trice turns a loss into a win, a series loss into a win?

    Me, i’m going for feel. The last 3 games against the Phils will mean nothing, they are crushed, out of it. We rest up by playing Lucas Duda at short and other such nonsenses. Fun.

  30. If we’ve clinched, give Clutchberson the start on the last Sunday of the season, see if he can hold that 94 mph heater more than one inning.

  31. Current forecast is for the hurricane to not be that big of an issue here in Atlanta. Obviously, that could change, but as of right now, it doesn’t look like we’re looking at a washout this weekend.

  32. Rio recalled. Roster at 36. Only Gohara, Parsons, Sanchez, and McCreery not on roster from 40-man.

  33. As for the scoreboard/calendar watching. I sure would like to see that magic number hit single digits before the Phills come to Atl, then take 3/4 and end this already.

    For those of you facing down this storm, I wish safety above all.

  34. @47

    That would be me. Looks like we’re due about 18 inches of rain between now and Saturday evening.

    So, if there isn’t a recap Saturday morning – Send boat.

  35. Regarding defensive stats, Duvall is the leading LF according to BIS when looking at the last 3 years.

    Not saying he isn’t great, though Wednesday’s game is still fresh, but I wonder how they adjust for Cincy’s comically small outfield that he would’ve had to cover?

  36. @52 Every game Newc is in (in the 2nd half) feels big… like, can he keep the ER to like 4 over 5 IP? Can we still have a sliver of hope of winning after he is done?

    @48 Time to break out the River Rat float tube!

  37. @44


    how ironic that on Rob’s short list of those from the 40 not on the roster are four names of pitchers, one of whom, a year ago, we were salivating over. His debut for the first team had us all excited, his velocity, his intimidation factor, he was scary. The world was supposed to be his oyster this year and then it wasn’t. To add to the irony it has all come to this at the precise time we venture forth bravely towards the post season, our greatest need and concern, the bullpen.

  38. Speaking of which, I would’ve wagered last year that Soroka would be on any potential 2018 playoff roster too. I hope his shoulder doesn’t continue to be a problem.

  39. The Giants are trotting out a joke lineup right now. Even if Newcomb gets good results tonight it doesn’t mean he is fixed.

  40. I’m totally ok with all our non-Phillies opponents laying down for us. We also owe the Mets a fruit-basket or something.

  41. @53 Gohara’s a tough year, but it does highlight that you can’t gave enoigh good pitching.

  42. We have been told a joke line-up awaits us tonight.
    It will meet that expectation only if it does not include Mr. Buster Posey whose every out over the last 10 years seems to have been a smashed line drive which chance alone directed into the quivering glove of a grateful fielder.

  43. The Phillies had to cancel their game tonight because they forgot to put the tarp on the field over the weekend

  44. @65

    It was fun of course to suggest the other explanation. Your typing is usually immaculate!

    @61 so no Posey…we shall win the series

    ‘Crawford’s 31, he’ll be 32 next year.’ Yes, Chip

    For a joke team this kid can pitch a bit.

  45. Chip: “There’s a groundball, foul, to Longoria. He picks it up and throws out Acuña.”

    It wasn’t even close to foul.

  46. jeez, what is up with the weak contact, is pudge jr. that good?

    happy to see that newk and julio’s ERA streams have not crossed yet, at least for now.

    and when did gorkys H. start hitting HR’s?

  47. Pudge Jr is a little more than good…we can’t hit him…we must not lose this game with Newk pitching so well.

  48. May we all be so fortunate as to find passions in life that make us smile like Ozzie did after he slid into third.

  49. @84

    Yes, devoutly to be wished. I have found mine- watching Ozzie and his friends every night. Really, in old age it is the vicarious that takes over, the fantasist emerging, well earned!

    Once again, just like last year, Kurt’s bat advances to a much higher level than his colleague’s and Snit clearly knows it, he will get as many at bats as he can squeeze in.


    He hasn’t hit a ball like that since May. Lovely.

  50. Props to the bullpen for three clean innings. It’s especially nice to see Minter have some success with his changeup.

  51. @81 It does; as does that win. Too bad I slept though it with my computer in my lap. I hate late games.

    Oddly, I stayed awake through the 6th without seeing us score our second run and this game never felt out of hand. The Giants don’t scare as much as other teams do. Although Baby Pudge sure did pitch well.

  52. As has been stated, after 2011 I don’t trust numbers very much. However, if the Braves can put together a .500 or even sub-.500 remainder, it’s going to be really tough for the Phillies, a team that can’t seem to get anything together right now. When you see that a 9-9 finish means that the Phils must finish 15-5 or 8-10 and 14-6, it’s getting into rarefied air territory. Granted, the Braves have to do their part which didn’t happen in 2011.

  53. Huge game for Ozzie in two dimensions. Two hits towards the infamous RH corner, the first right handed on the ground and hit hard. The second the left handed smash that reached the corner in the air.

    Both of them reminded us of the sheer havoc he can cause on the base paths which is the dimension to his play we had almost forgotten about. Not any more – if we now have Ozzie redux with his confidence restored at the plate and particularly on the bases we are back in the full business offensively. And he will be moved up the order accordingly.

    Dansby had about 8 assists, took them all with ease. Then that great safety squeeze to score Ozzie. Camargo and Acuna produced nothing, they didn’t have to for a change, resting on their well earned Phoenix laurels.

  54. The Philthies are 11-20 since their sweep of the Marlins at the beginning of August

    I’ve thought for some time that 90 wins would be enough for the Braves, and their slumping rivals would have to go 16-4 to get there…

    Can’t see it


  55. Baby Pudge
    we might be able to fudge
    a word in his ear
    then tell their FO Cabrera is ‘near’.

    if he cannot be found ask for an extension. PTBNL

  56. Hunter Pence
    it will make perfect sense
    retiring October
    not a dry eye, nor many that’ll be sober.

    What a great guy, now a mere shadow. At least they moved him from that awful patrol in right field. All arms and legs, in the field, at the plate. Contrarian, a true original, he hurt us over many, many years, here, Philly and others. Enjoy.

  57. “I think I was just attacking the hitters the whole time, trying to make them uncomfortable.”

    As opposed to making us uncomfortable.

    Great job. 8 K’s NO walks. Rethinking playoff rotation!!

  58. Whatever’s bet in Vegas stays in Vegas

    Boston Red Sox 3/1
    Houston Astros 17/4
    Chicago Cubs 7/1
    Los Angeles Dodgers 8/1
    New York Yankees 8/1
    Cleveland Indians 9/1
    Colorado Rockies 12/1
    Oakland Athletics 12/1
    Atlanta Braves 14/1
    Milwaukee Brewers 20/1
    St. Louis Cardinals 25/1
    Arizona Diamondbacks 28/1
    Philadelphia Phillies 33/1

    Perfectly priced…Phillies!

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