Braves 7, Mets 3

Don’t tell these guys we’ve clinched and have nothing to play for. With only 3 games separating the Braves and Cubs for best record coming into this game, the difference is now at 2. Our home record is not as good as our away record, but the Braves are still playing to get home field advantage. It may have come at a steep price, though, as Dansby Swanson left the game with left wrist soreness and has undergone an MRI.

They couldn’t get anything done against Noah Syndergaard. He blanked us for 6 innings, but we got to their bullpen quickly by scoring 7 runs in 2 innings because that’s what we do. It was the typical lineup, so it’s encouraging to see runs still being scored, even if IWOTM.

Lots of stuff still being decided: who will man the last spot(s) on the bench, who will start Game 4, and who will be in the pen. You would have to think only a small handful of pitchers are locks for the pen, and guys like Chad Sobotka, resident flamethrower, could find themselves on the roster at the expense of a season-long contributor. If the Braves decide to go with the “hot hands” vs. “the guys that got us here”, you could see something like Touki Toussaint on the roster and Dan Winkler not on it.

2 more against the Mets, 3 more against the Phillies who are currently being drummed nightly by the Rockies, and then the playoffs.

67 thoughts on “Braves 7, Mets 3”

  1. Agreed with kc on the last thread. Newcombe has seldom looked right since the 130 pitch insanity in the name of completing an objective irrelevant to a division title or postseason success.

  2. I think Winkler needs to be left off the roster regardless. His fastball looks down in velocity and it l seems like he also has hit the wall. Sobotka should be a lock but probably isn’t to this point.

  3. Good ol’ FanGraphs projected standings: predicting a sub-.500 rest of season for the Braves down to the very end.

  4. @2

    His start after that was pretty good too.

    I am all for letting him go for a no hitter. It was only 130 pitches.

  5. @5 agree, one time 130 pitches surely cannot have broken him?
    Then again, I have never thrown a pitch in my life.

  6. There are a few tweets now by Bowman about Minter’s back issues. In 75 career major league innings, he’s got a 2.39 FIP. So long term, he’s my guy to get the last 3 outs of the game, or Closer(TM). But Brach has been really good since coming over (1.23 ERA, 2.70 FIP), and Arodys is healthy and still Arodys (1.91 ERA, 3.26 FIP this year; 2.92 ERA, 3.37 FIP while with Atlanta).

    Sobotka’s September has looked like this so far: 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 7 K. The 3 walks were in the first two outings of the month. If you went Sobotka/Biddle/Venters based on match-up -> Brach -> Arodys in games with the lead and only using Minter in games we’re behind, then they need to do it until Minter rights the ship.

    I still feel like not leveraging Wright or Touki at some point in a one-inning role may have hurt us.

    Cory Knebel had a 1.78 ERA last year and was a lights-out closer, and he got demoted this year to AAA. These guys slump, get hurt, lose their way, and I’m glad we have some options.

  7. It may be more the innings limit overall and less the no-hitter bid, or it could be a little bit of both. We’ll never know.

    Also, because no one has said it yet, there is such a thing as a combined no-hitter, and I feel like managers forget that that’s a thing.

  8. A combined no-hitter is still a no-hitter, in my eyes. Did the other team get a hit? No? Then it’s a no-hitter.

    Count it.

  9. Maybe because he walks a ton of people and always has.

    In his good starts he didn’t, or was able to get around it.

  10. We talk about innings for these young pitchers, but I’m really more interested in pitches thrown. I think our guys have thrown a ton of pitches in a smallish amount of innings. I wonder how many more pitches a guy like Newcomb has thrown this year compared to his previous seasons.

    Does any site show number of pitches thrown each season?

  11. To the people who wouldn’t care one way or the other if there was never another no-hitter thrown in baseball history, I ask: Why must you try to make everything a zero-sum death march?

  12. And yes, a combined no-hitter is still a no-hitter, but I would argue it means less than a one-man no-hitter.

  13. @14, I take my cues from Brian McCann; there should be no fun in baseball or in life.

    (I don’t think anyone is proposing that there should never be another no-hitter.)

  14. So the Dansby situation seems to have taken a turn for the worst (at least from outward appearances). He was sent back home today to be evaluated by the team’s head physician, according to Peanut. Still no specific word on what the injury is.

  15. @ 13 – I’ve always wondered that, why we focus so much on pitch count as a measure of workload in an individual game, but then zoom out to the # of outs a pitcher gets (innings pitched) when we think about workload over the course of a season. Maybe it all averages out, but it does seem like, esp. w/ someone like Newk who walks a lot of batters, that 100 of his innings might actually have involved more workload/pitches thrown than 100 of a more efficient pitcher’s innings.

  16. @4

    I wonder if this will cause them to rethink their projections a bit. Surely, at some point, what the team is actually doing should count for more than what the computer predicted in late February.

  17. @23 I hope so, and I’m sure they probably make additions to it every offseason.

    “Zero-Sum Death March” sounds so metal… I’d listen to that.

    Re:Greg Maddux – I’m sure he felt that way. So much of his game was getting guys to hit the ball where he wanted them to that while utterly dominant, he just was the least likely guy to go 9 innings without something getting through the infield.

    Still, I think the idea of going a complete game without surrendering runs or hits (or even walks) is tremendously important to the game. The thought of teams going away from starters to openers makes me sad. Nothing would make me want to ban shifts and expand strike zones more than that.

  18. @24, I’m all for traditionalism, but the notion of a starting rotation is itself fairly recent; used to be that you had ONE starting pitcher (like Al Spalding), or maybe two or three, and a few bums you slotted in around them, washed-up veterans and guys you brought in from the farm system for peanuts. When you look at old rotations you’re amazed at how wildly divergent the start counts could be.

    For example, here’s the 1918 White Sox, who were supposed to be a pretty good team:

    1) Eddie Cicotte, 30 GS
    2) Frank Shellenback, 21 GS
    3) Joe Benz, 17 GS
    4) Reb Russell, 15 GS
    5) Lefty Williams, 14 GS
    6) Dave Danforth, 11 GS (and 20 GF; he was a true swingman)
    7) Red Faber, 9 GS

    And the other seven starts were split between the ageless Jack Quinn, whose oldest-player-in-baseball records Julio Franco kept breaking, and Roy Mitchell. But basically it was Cicotte, and then everybody else.

    That’s not a billion miles away from the concept behind a bullpen game, which is simply that there’s no necessary hard and fast distinction between starters and relievers. Instead, there are aces, and then there’s everybody else.

  19. Teams should make whatever use of their players they think is best. Creativity is good.

    Yelich cost Lewis Brinson, who (believe it or not) was comparable to Acuna in value before the season started. And the Marlins also got Isan Diaz, Monte Harrison, and some pitcher who was less of a prospect.

  20. @27 Yes, my understanding is that the notion of a bullpen is much more recent. It used to be far more common for pitchers to make relief appearances in between starts. Of course, it also used to be expected that if a guy started a game, he was probably going to be the guy to finish it provided he didn’t get hurt or get clobbered.

    I see what the Rays are doing as an extension of the elite bullpen evolution (I think that’s the right word for it), and it makes perfect sense that relievers are beginning to replace bad starting pitchers.

    I’m just concerned with the trend and its potential impacts on offenses should it really start to take hold across MLB. Not the first time somebody worried about this, and it likely won’t be the end of offense (yet again).

  21. Maybe give Riley a week at 3B and Johan at SS. Crazy to think, but maybe we don’t end up missing Dansby. Who knows what we have with Riley.

  22. They would be foolish to throw Riley into the fire at this point. If they did, I would consider it malpractice.

    Culberson hasn’t really impressed me with his SS defense. I would be tempted to play Camargo at short and Culberson at third if Dansby is unavailable.

    Despite what brazon and coop say, Dansby has been elite defensively this season at shortstop and losing him would be a big blow.

  23. This reminds me of when Prado got hurt the last week of the season in 2010. With Chipper getting hurt in August, it forced us to play the Folk Hero Brooks Conrad in the field. He was a great bench bat but as we all painfully know was a terrible fielder.

  24. Also, Ryan Flaherty would have to be on the postseason roster as he is the only remaining backup who can play the middle infield.

  25. I don’t really understand Dansby Swanson’s wrist injury. I assume that it’s inflammation just like earlier in the season. I hope the MRI came back clean, but the worrisome aspect of it is that there’s not one root cause or identifiable event that explains it.

    At least if it’s like last time, he’ll be good in 10 days and can at least bring that elite glove to play.

  26. I don’t doubt that extended spring training or wherever Riley is is insufficient competition, but Flaherty on the postseason roster is insufficienter.

  27. @35

    For the record, I was a very early and frequent admirer of Dansby’s turnaround defensively this year. And his base running. Terrific stuff from him. Now the bat!

  28. Riley is probably on his sofa or working his offseason job. I don’t want to ruin him as a player by suddenly having him make his major league debut in the playoffs in a do or die situation without him having played baseball for a month.

  29. Did you read the article that pitcher overuse doesn’t show up until two to three weeks later? It’s a study conducted by Red Sox medical staff that I read the other days. Newcomb is exactly going through that.

    I like starting pitcher going deeper in a game too, but this is Newcomb’s first full season in the major so he is not particularly the best candidate to push the limit.

  30. @45 Freddie played on a bad wrist most of last year. It wouldn’t be off the wall to think that some of Dansby’s hitting issues were due to wrist issues he was not complaining about. I find it hard to believe you can partially tear a ligament swinging a bat unless some damage was already there.

    Of course, Ozzie broke his elbow swinging a bat so what do I know?

  31. Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just posting what Bowman said. Seems like if he changed the mechanics in his swing that it could in fact cause a different injury.

  32. Newcomb also has surpassed his previous career high in IP this season. I said 3 weeks ago that they should consider shutting him down.

    His velocity is good tonight. Touching 97 MPH.

  33. The Nationals now lead the Phillies by 2 games for 2nd place.

    The Phillies are experiencing a cruel regression to their Pythagorean record.

  34. Bad play by Acuna. I still say being able to take first base on a strikeout is the dumbest rule in baseball, whether it works in our favor or not. Right now the goal should be forcing a pinch hitter for DeGrom with the score tied at 0.

  35. Newcomb has had no problem shutting down the Giants and the Mets. Of course, their offenses are trash.

  36. Ronald has to know you can’t run toward 2nd when you run through first base.

    I hope Snitker doesn’t allow Luke Jackson to face any LHBs in the postseason, if he’s on the roster.

  37. They are obviously set in the rotation with DeGrom, Thor, Wheeler, and Matz. Nimmo and Conforto are good corner OFs. McNeill looks like a good player at second base. They are okay at catcher and third base. But they have gaping black holes at first base and center field that they need to fix in the offseason.

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