Don’t wake me up when September ends.
An absolutely dreamy regular season concluded anti-climactically 8 days after the National League East champions were crowned.Â Â We may suffer from a bit of Impostor Syndrome when we assess our playoff chances, so please take some time to stop and enjoy this Division Championship before diving into the playoff turmoil.Â It represents 162 games, 6 months, 26 (well, for us, 25) weeks of highs, lows, struggles, and achievements, and is an unexpected present we can savor forever.
Any hopes the Braves had of sneaking into the 2nd seed and home field advantage in the first round dried up pretty quickly, as the Dodgers and Rockies both jumped out to huge leads early, ultimately bumping the Braves to the 3rd seed.Â The Rockies play a tie-breaker in Los Angeles at 4:00 p.m. Eastern on Monday to settle who will play the Braves, and who will be a wildcard.
While the presumptive playoff lineup started the game, it quickly devolved into a playoff tune-up, presumably because of the scoreboard watching.Â Â Cesar Hernandez homered off Kevin Gausman leading off the first, and Gausman allowed all 3 of the runs on 5 hits and 3 walks, in his 5 innings.Â Neither Freddie Freeman nor Nick Markakis were able to add to their hit totals amongst the 4 hits the Braves managed off of 8 Phillies pitchers, but still managed to finish first and second in the National League in hits, with 191 and 185 respectively.Â Sadly, Nick dropped below the .300 mark in batting average the last week, finishing at .297.Â Freddie finished at .309.
The Braves drop 2 out of 3 in the final series, and finish 90 – 72.
At somebody, in October. Sweet dreams.
Really want to say again as we end the regular season that I appreciate how much the recappers do for the site. Each one has their own personality which really helps give the site a lot of variety, and we’re very lucky to have you guys. Thank you. Hopefully you’ll be recapping some Braves playoff wins!
From the previous thread: it was the beginning of a new season, I wanted to be both optimistic and contrarian towards the prevailing attitude* on here, so I picked 92 wins as a reflection of the best I thought this team could be.
That was the upward bound for our performance in my mind. Lo and behold…
*Which was: the Braves are headed for another losing season in an interminable rebuild, and the GM not lifting a finger to help the team in the offseason (other than to engineer some future salary relief) showed that the Braves don’t care about their fans either
LOL just checked the most recent ESPN POWER RANKINGS and we were 10th, right behind the Rays.
I guess we’ll have to console ourselves with a playoff berth.
This season is something to be proud of. Well done everyone including all of you recappers. I think we are all quite confident that the future of our organization is much brighter than the four other teams in the NL East.
Now let’s get fired up for the playoff!!!
@3. Honestly the Rays has an amazing season. It’s too bad that that there are five teams above them in the AL. They deserve to be in the playoff.
Yeah, the Rays won 90 and were shown the door. The Braves won 90 and won their division by 8 games and are the only team in the NL that doesn’t have to play an extra game.
Maybe Arizona should have been the team to join the AL.
Doesn’t seem like Dansby will be able to make it.
Yeah, sounds like they are preparing to go without him.
Bowman said that Flaherty will be on the bench as the backup MIF. The rest of the bench will likely be Flozuki, Duda, Adams, and Rene Rivera so that Flozuki can pinch hit.
Oh… MIF! Never mind… Don’t know how my brain saw an extra L in there.
I hate that third catcher concept in the five game series…wait, I hate it even for the seven game series!
such early/late nappers
thank our Editor in Chief
LA/Colorado, we’ll provide the relief.
Don’t write him off yet…all the shenanigans from others these last 48 hours have given them an extra 4 days to work him out. I would rate it better than 50/50 he plays.
And isn’t there a rule somewhere that you can replace an injured member of your squad while everything is underway provided it is like for like?
Charlie C we discovered last night cannot bend over for a ground ball. Dear me.
We all remember this
another swing and miss
on Freddie we rely
with Ozzie his precocious rookie
as balls whiz by.
I hope the Dodgers win, because screw Coors Field.
What time do the Nats play today?
@13. If that’s the case there is no need for a third catcher.
@15. I don’t like the Dodgers. I hope the wild card game is Dodgers vs Cubs.
I was at the game yesterday, and the vibe (from a Braves fan perspective) was bad from the get-go. Gausman wasn’t sharp and the offense was sleepwalking. Only Acuna seemed ready to play. Of course, given what happened out west, none of it mattered. But I hope this team finds some fire come Wednesday.
I don’t know if this came through on TV, but when Newcomb came in, he seemed like a man on a mission. I heard a couple of his pitches pop the catcher’s mitt from the outfield second level. I figured he felt he had something to prove, and he was doing
it. And then, of course, he walked a guy, and was promptly pulled. To my eyes, he’s the most frustrating player on the team.
Yeah. 90 wins in the AL East is more impressive than 90 wins in the NL East this year.
UPDATE: I forgot tiebreaker games count in the regular season stats, and Christian Yelich only needs 1 hit to catch Markakis for 2nd place. So, that is still up in the air, but a nice season for Nick either way.
Yesterday our fellow post season contenders scored thus…
Cubs 10 …
We scored 1 total in our last 2 games. And looked awful doing it, Freddie included. What was that all about? No need to get more? Dangerous thinking.
@1 – Thanks Rob, and also thanks to you for your work. I’m happy to eat some innings to help keep things going.
I’m not going to sit here and let someone accuse me of having a personality, though.
If Duda is healthy, I still don’t hate Culberson at SS, Duda as LHPH, and Flozuki at RHPH, even if Flowers has had a terrible year against righties. But I’d love to get Dansby back ASAP. I would have to think that we won’t see Ryan Flaherty in the field unless absolutely necessary.
I did say that we’d be improved this year, but I missed the actual numbers by 14 games – which is Angel Hernandez / CB Bucknor levels of wrong.
This season pretty much means I’m not qualified to predict much of anything related to the 2018 Braves (nor is fangraphs), so the fact that I’m thinking we’re bounced out of the first round in 4 games is probably really good news.
Not sure I would worry about what we did the last week of the season. We mostly rested guys.
Those teams had something to play for. We didn’t. I’m not really concerned. They deserved a mental rest, even if they didn’t get a physical one. If they play like that between the lines on Thursday, we should panic.
For some nagging reason, I keep thinking that putting Ozzie back in the #1 spot is what it will take to get him going again, with Acuña batting second behind him.
In the end, Ozzie’s full season was pretty close to what I was expecting. It just wan’t very evenly distributed at all. We sure could use one of those hot spells for a few weeks.
That would be my lineup. No chance it happens though.
The lineup tool says the optimal is:
I expected more OBP and less power from Albies. Overall, still an outstanding season for a 21 year old.
Yeah I certainly didn’t predict 20 homers, but I did think he’d hit a ton of doubles and have a good SLG. The OBP is about where it would be for a guy that has tons of talent but bad plate discipline.
Aside from his learning curve as a 19 year old the first time at AAA, his isolated power has continued to climb as he has physically matured. But his ISO at the major league level has been much higher than even his breakout at AAA last year. I don’t know how I’d bet his profile will take shape going forward, but however we get solid production, I’ll take it. Regardless, Fangraphs gave him 70 grade speed, so I’d love to see his stolen base totals increase.
His 162 game average is .270 23 HR and 75 RBI.
If I had to guess, he’ll settle into a 15-25 HR slot yearly and his average and OBP will increase with experience.
I agree that I’d like to see him use more of his speed in his game.
Mallex Smith ended the season with a .296/.367/.406 triple slash, 40 stolen bases (12 caught), a 117 wRC+, and a 3.5 fWAR. Fangraphs hated his defense, though, as he was rated a negative defender. If he could add some defense and hit a few balls over the fence, he could be rocking it and be bringing the raines.
I dunno…let’s find Marc Schneider and ask him.
How many bunt singles did Mallex get this year? That was supposed to be the aspect of his game that set him apart.
I also hate the third catcher thing, but given the other option is the corpse of Adam Duvall, I don’t guess it much matters. Were it me, I’d choose Duvall’s corpse over a third catcher every time, though.
Record: 87-75; 90-72
Home Runs: Freeman 35; Acuna 26
RBI: Freeman 95; Freeman 98
OPS: Acuna .950; Acuna .917
Runs: Albies 123; Albies 105
ABs @ Clean-up Spot: Tylurt Flowzuki 420; Nick Markakis batting clean up in all but five (5) games
Most Effective Starting Pitcher: Julio; Folty
Least Effective Starting Pitcher: Matt Wisler; Brandon McCarthy
Saves: Vizzy; Vizzy (16, to Minter’s 15)
The Phillies ended on such an ugly note that it’s possible to forget they were even in the race. Below .500 and not in 2nd place. Disgraceful finish for them.
Great game to watch in Chicago. What a fun baseball day.
Yelich is a solo HR away from the Triple Crown.
Depending on what Arenado and Baez do. It would be so cool if he won, then lost the Triple Crown in game 163s.
And the Marlins traded him for a guy who hit below the Mendoza line.
Hader is just filthy.
Nothing sweeter than a Cubs loss.
Lotta empty seats in LA.
I was about to say, I’m glad LA is super excited for this one.
What do you wanna bet this won’t trigger a passel of think pieces about how LA is a garbage sports town like it would if there were that number of empty seats in Atlanta?
If I didn’t know better I would think this is a meaningless late season game judging by the attendance.
Yeah, for some reason people don’t show up until the fourth inning.
Bellinger hits a 2 run homer in the 4th. 2-0 Dodgers.
I really hate the Dodgers. I’m pulling for the Rockies here.
Muncy makes it 4-0.
Buehler himself knocks in Kike Hernandez. 5-0 Dodgers in the 6th.
Beating the Dodgers looks like a tall order. At least we only have to win 3. Kershaw vs Folty might be epic.
I remember that series earlier in the year they had a gazillion homeruns against us. Our pitchers are going to have to bring their A game.
I really really hate the Dodgers. Honestly i hate all the west coast teams.
The Dodgers are going to be good for the next half decade. At some point, the road through the NL is going to run through the Dodgers. I’d rather have to beat them in a 5-game series vs. a 7-game series, right?
For me, I’d love to play the Dodgers in a 5-game, try to get lucky and beat them, and then get the Brewers or Rockies in the CS.
I hate LA
It bothers me that the Dodgers won their division for a sixth consecutive year.
Let’s beat them.
I’m glad the Dodgers won. I hope the Cubs win tomorrow.
Coors Field needs to be eliminated from the postseason.
A list of the 20 players with the most jersey sales in 2018:
1. Aaron Judge, Yankees
2. Jose Altuve, Astros
3. Javier Báez, Cubs
4. Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
5. Mookie Betts, Red Sox
6. Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
7. Kris Bryant, Cubs
8. Shohei Ohtani, Angels
9. Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees
10. Yadier Molina, Cardinals
11. Mike Trout, Angels
12. Buster Posey, Giants
13. Bryce Harper, Nationals
14. Freddie Freeman, Braves
15. Cody Bellinger, Dodgers
16. Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox
17. George Springer, Astros
18. Francisco Lindor, Indians
19. Carlos Correa, Astros
20. Ronald Acuna Jr., Braves
My playoff roster prediction.
Trade Biddle for Newcomb and I’d say that’s about right. I’d actually rather have Duvall than the third catcher, but oh well.