Things are becoming clearer with regard to playoff seedings as we enter the final weekend of this season. Mike Foltynewicz finished his final start with five innings of one run baseball, striking out nine Phillies to surpass 200 Ks on the season – the first Brave hurler to reach that mark since Javier Vazquez back in 2009. Freddie Freeman went 4-5 with three doubles, Ronald Acuna, Jr. went 3-6, and Johan Camargo went 3-5 with a solo home run to pace the Braves offense.
In other news, St. Louis dropped its opener to the Cubs, and they are on the brink of elimination, as both Colorado and Los Angeles won their games. The Rockies lead LA by one game with two to play and are tied with Atlanta with 90 wins after last night, with the Dodgers at 89. Colorado’s win clinched a playoff berth, and either one more LA win or Cardinal loss will give LA the last NL playoff spot. The Cubs hold a one game lead on Milwaukee for the Central Division. Amazingly enough, the only team that still knows where they will open the first round is, yes, Our Atlanta Braves, who know they will face the winner of the West in the NLDS, but even then, they don’t know if they open at home or on the road.
Anyway, there isn’t much pressure over the last two games. We face Aaron Nola tonight, with Anibal Sanchez likely getting about five innings or so to keep him sharp for his next start – in the National League Division Series. What a nice ring that has.
I attended the game. It was a small crowd, with a number of Braves fans. Everything went our way. The only negative was Freddie losing a ribbie due to the challenge by Kapler. In any event, it was good to see a win. I have tickets for the last two games also.
Please cheer Neck up for us.
Painter – your last is as sharp as your first.
Last night was emphatic. Usually, if you’re a fan of a bad team, you just want to see your team playing “meaningful games ” this month.” Watching the rest of the league falling all over themselves while our success is assured is so luxuriant.
I made a comment last offseason expressing doubt about Folty, and Rob turned it into a copypasta, switching all the “Folty”‘s with “Smoltz”‘s. Even though Rob then backed off from making the direct comparison, it turned out to be prescient.
As good as Folty has been this year, he has roughly matched Smoltz’s 1989/1990/1991 seasons in WAR. If he wants to match Smoltz’s very best years, he needs to throw a lot more innings, which is unlikely to happen, but still…I’m happy to eat some crow today.
He is building up his inning total annually. Next season he should be ready to break 200 innings.
You are not the only one, few would imagine such success from Folty. I think few Astros fans thought he would be this good when the trade happened.
I think we’ll be having similar discussions about Newcomb in the offseason.
@6, A lot of the case for Folty revolved around his very best games from 2017. I was inclined to see that as cherry-picking, but who knows, maybe there’s something to that argument. (And that would bode well for Newcomb.)
For pitchers from the past decade or so who had the same number of game scores (or more) that were as high as (or higher than) Folty’s very best 2017 starts (there were three of them that stood out, right?), I’d love to see those pitchers’ WAR totals the following year.
It seems worth noting that Newcomb is one year younger than Folty and has generated basically the same WAR this year as Folty did last year, in a similar number of innings.
Folty going to the stretch was big. Also, Anabal Sanchez has been a huge influence. Especially with his composure.
Sanchez may have been our best addition from last year. Not just in the field
Folty has always had top-tier stuff, it’s been a matter of maturation and being more efficient. Newcomb isn’t in the same league. His secondary pitches are just bad, more often than not. I wouldn’t even compare the two…hope I’m wrong.
I think I’ve see three losses to the Rockies in-person this season. I promise to stay away for the NLDS.
@7, @9 I think you’re blending exactly the reason why some were willing to wait for Folty and why some may not with Newk. Folty’s stuff and those incredible games last year together showed he had enough upside that he was worth occupying a roster spot with. While Newk has had some unhittable games, he may not have the stuff that would incentivize the same amount of patience.
I’d be interested to see how the elite but limited number of game scores relates to the next year’s WAR, but as an example, a guy like Lucas Giolito is going to get a lot of chances even though he had the highest ERA in the league this year. In 2017, Folty had 6 game scores over 60, 5 of those over 70, and one of those over 80 (the near no-no against Oaktown). Giolito has 5 over 60, 4 of which are over 70.
This is interesting: Newk had 12 game scores over 60. 8 of them over 70. Two of those over 80. One of those over 90 (the LAD near no-no). Newcomb had 3 game scores of 60 or higher after the LAD no-no on July 29th. He had 4 that were less than 20 this year, the same as Folty in 2017. Folty was able to avoid a game score of less than 20 this year. I bet it’s those starts that really stick in people’s minds.
Notable Newk No-Shows this year:
2.2 IP, 5 ER, 3 H, 5 BB @ NYY 7/3
4 IP, 5 ER, 12 H, 2 BB vs. MIL 8/12
4 IP, 6 ER, 8 H, 2 BB vs. TBR 8/29
3 IP, 5 ER, 6 H, 2 BB vs. WASH 9/16
Certainly lends to the theory that he began to wear down somewhere around July, which happens to be when he pitched the near no-no. He may have been already starting to wear down and the no-no game finished him off. 5.77 ERA after the no-no game.
[Newcomb’s] secondary pitches are just bad, more often than not.
This is correct… Huge fastball, though!
I don’t understand this talk about Newcomb’s secondary pitches. His calling card is his curve; that’s what makes him elite or gives him elite potential. Of course, he has a decent FB, but it’s the curve that makes him special. You guys are just down on him because his control declined in the second half. His first half was as good or better than Folty’s as shown by the game score counts from above. In fact, his year this year was as good as some of Glavine’s.
Next year, Folty, Newk, and Gaus are givens. Sanchez will only be back if he takes a long man role. Two of Soroka, Touissant, and Fried will fill out the rotation. Wright, Wilson, Gohara, Allard, etc… will start at AAA and be the first called up in case of need. Of course, two of those last seven and Teheran may be traded, hopefully, for Realmuto.
I’d actually be interested in everyone’s thoughts about who should be traded (assume only one lefty from above).
I don’t understand this talk about Newcomb’s secondary pitches.
The Fangraphs pitch values bear out what krussell is saying.
There’s a lot that the Braves may very well do with their entire pitching staff that I don’t know if I would pencil in all three of Gausman, Folty, and Newcomb. Shoot, maybe Gausman gets traded in the offseason. There’s just so much they could do. Someone like Julio or Gausman — or both — could be used in a package for an ace.
After 2011 and 2012, I’m glad we’re having a Cardinals-free postseason this year.
Smart of Sanchez to let that ball go through.
I am very happy to see the Cards not making it. Next is to eliminate the Cubs and the Dodgers.
@15. You have a very creative mind Rob. But I think it’s very unlikely that Gaus will be traded. The chance of trading Julio is better but don’t know if anyone will want him.
B-Ref liked Teheran this year. 1.8 bWAR. Maybe he has a smidge of trade value. They can at least clear his salary if they want, I’d think.
Burned by another walk.
It looks like the Braves, Rockies, and Dodgers will be tied going into tomorrow. The only way ATL gets home field advantage is for the Braves to win tomorrow and the other two to lose. Not very likely.
OTOH, there is a good chance that there could be a one game playoff for the West title. That is certainly a good thing for our Braves.
@15 There will be no trade for an ace. There are no aces AVAILABLE for trade that would be better than the potential of pitchers we have in the org already.
In the meantime, Venters not doing a great job of making his case for the postseason roster. Touki seems to be looking pretty good, though, either as a starter or a reliever.
So Dan Uggla needs to send Chris Davis a Christmas present. He surpassed Uggla’s. 179 batting average with a. 169 mark. This gIves him the lowest average in history among those who qualify for the batting title. Uggla’s 2013:season with the Braves now ranks 2nd.
It’s not all good news for former Braves players though. His minus 2.8 WAR is still a long way from Jerry Royster’s minus 4.0 WAR achieved in 1977.
A tie breaking game may also be needed for cubs and brewers.
a tardy recap is in situ. Sorry!