Game 1 Game Thread

Got my tickets and flight booked for game 3. I’ll be sitting in left-center field ready to catch Acuna’s blast. Folks, it’s the playoffs.

As MikeM said in the comments of the last thread, we’ve had 8 consecutive playoff round defeats and 8 straight game 1 losses.

They’ve just set the roster. 3 catchers, no Sam Freeman, no Jesse Biddle, no Dan Winkler.

It starts today!

157 thoughts on “Game 1 Game Thread”

  1. @99 from prior thread. When I was 18-19-20, I was hugely upset that our playoff series was spoiled by a rainout of a great Niekro start. Man, this losing era was real short compared to the 80’s or 70’s. The 2015 and 2016 drafts and trades made the whole thing bearable compared to those other era’s.

  2. I thought they’d take both Julio and Newk. I would rather we had another pitcher rather than a 3rd catcher. I think they should have taken another lefty – Biddle – to even up the quantities. It sure would be nice to play games with Roberts’ head by being able to switch pitchers as soon as he switches PH’ers.

  3. 3 – I would’ve taken Freeman over Biddle in your scenario, but they probably got the hitter/pitcher thing correct. Right or wrong, without Rivera, Flowers or Suzuki would be the last PH used.

    Shame that Dansby’s not healthy enough to go.

  4. MikeMC from last thread:

    “Carter Stewart (Boras client) is filing a grievance to become a free agent, claiming the Braves did not follow the rules during his negotiation following the draft. Details at Talking Chop. If successful the Braves would lose the 9th pick in the draft.”

    https://www.talkingchop.com/2018/10/3/17934550/atlanta-braves-2018-mlb-draft-carter-stewart-mlbpa-grievance

    Not sure how or why the Braves wouldn’t have offered 40% of the slot. I’m sure they’d have loved to have had him at that number. Maybe Stewart’s agent didn’t get the email?

  5. I like the roster, especially having Fried and Touki in there. We only have two pure LHR so I guess Fried and/ or Newk will see some action in relief. Biddle is the only guy I’d consider a close call to replace one of those guys but I like the fact that we’re going with talent over bullpen experience. Fried has been dynamite. Dansby’s injury hurts but maybe Flaherty will make himself useful somehow. Playoff baseball!!! Let’s go!!!

  6. To end the season with champagne and a World Series banner, the Braves need to win 11 of the next 19 games.

    Over the first 19 games of the 2018 season, forced into duty as the starting 3B, Ryan Flaherty hit .339/.446/.468 (914 OPS), with 5 doubles and a homerun.

    Throw the books and projections out the window. This is the playoffs. The sample size is your last at bat. Ignore analysis and just be fans for as long as the ride lasts.

  7. I hate the three catcher thing. If Flowers or Suzuki was injured in a game after the other had pinch hit, Culberson could catch for the rest of the game on an emergency basis (and this would only happen in the late innings so it likely would be a brief stint). If the injury is serious, you can replace the injured C with Rivera before the next game. As is, it’s a wasted roster spot.

  8. Assuming the roster spot would have been taken by another offensive player rather than a 13th pitcher, Rene Rivera is displacing either Preston Tucker or Adam Duvall.

    Tucker is a defensively challenged corner OF whose primary usefulness would be as a pinch hitter against RH relievers. He hit 240/303/411 this year. His split against righties was 243/315/426. He was abysmal in his 19 appearances against LHP.

    Duvall hit 195/274/365 across two organizations this year. He was very bad for the Reds, and actually got worse as a PH for the Braves. His splits aren’t particularly helpful either. While he does better against LHP, he still only managed a 637 OPS against his “strong” platoon side. Duvall’s only real use value on a playoff roster this year would be as a defensive replacement and pinch runner.

    Rene Rivera was hitless in his four (4) meager PA’s with Atlanta, striking out 3 times. That said, he hit 244/287/439 as the Angels’ backup catcher prior to coming to Atlanta. His splits actually show a reverse platoon advantage for him in 2018. He hit 264/291/509 as a RHB against RHP. He was Duvall-esque against lefties. That split seems to be a career outlier though.

    The point here is simply that even as a third catcher, Rivera isn’t actually much of a step down offensively from the guys he’s replacing on the roster. His 2018 splits makes him a better PH option against lefties than either Tucker or Duvall (or Peter Bourjos, or Rio Ruiz.) And of course, his presence allows for a much better hitter than any of those guys (either Flowers or Suzuki) to be used in pivotal at bats instead.

  9. 11-I hate the idea of the 3 catcher thing as well, but I should point out that though you can replace someone in the middle of a series due to injury it must be approved by the commissioner’s office and the injured player has to miss the next series as well.

    The problem is that we know the manager won’t use Flozuki off the bench properly without the 3rd catcher on the roster.

  10. @5

    Even in that Rosenthal article, it says that multiple sources think the Braves can prove they offered him 40 percent. This is a fishing expedition by Scott Boras and nothing more.

  11. Crazy thing about the roster is that 40%, including 6 of the 12 pitchers, were not on the major league team on August 20.

  12. Preston Tucker isn’t eligible for the postseason roster anyway. So it’s Adam Duvall and Rio Ruiz who got left off, and nobody is clamoring for those 2 guys.

  13. Let’s play ball!! I’m Getting pumped!! Playoff Baseball is back in ATL!!!

    Quoted for truth.

  14. Still don’t know why Shane Carle was left off the roster. Anyone? Seemed to pitch pretty well last month of the season.

  15. We have a lot of starting pitching on the roster. Seems like a good move in that it might allow for some tandem starts and minimize the innings our pen has to throw.

    Getting excited and nervous now. Man it’s been a while since we won Game 1. Let’s do this.

  16. I believe Carle pitched okay down the stretch but he seemed to walk a few too many and was in trouble several times. Freeman also escaped some jams down the stretch but didn’t pitch too badly. I think they felt that those two would not fare as well against the Dodgers as they did against the Mets and Phillies. I think they’re correct.

  17. Listening to the Rockies–Brewers game on the MLB radio feed. Bob Uecker still has it. He sounds crisp and much younger than his eighty-three years. He’s enthusiastic about the game, and not just because his Brewers are playing well.

  18. Uecker looked young and virile during the Brewers’ clubhouse celebration. Good for him.

  19. I have recap duty tonight, and let me tell you, I’m feeling that “nervous excitement.” I’m a rookie playoff recapper. My mouth is a little dry, my eyes aren’t quite focusing as they should, and I’m hoping my fingers find the right keys.

    I’m counting on our playoff-rookies on the field to be more calm and collected.

  20. Ouch. Pregame went on and on about how Folty’s Slider is the out pitch, but nope, four 96+ MPH fastballs, 1HR, 1 2B, 0 outs.

  21. Our pitchers all suck at throwing the high fastball. I don’t know why it keeps getting called for by the catchers. Great friggin start :/

  22. This version of the Braves appears to suck in the playoffs too.

    Gonna have to get the bullpen up early.

  23. YEAH! Strike that Puig out!!

    Folty will get going. I hope he can give us 4 innings giving up only the one run then let Newk take over.

  24. I’m listening to the game on the radio. I’m very surprised to say this, but if Frenchy sticks with it, he could be one of the best color commentators in baseball. His insights have been excellent.

  25. Did anyone catch Folty’s glove shaking like a leaf? The dude is one big ball of emotion.

  26. Love the George Lombard sighting.

    I gotta say, I love that MLBN doesn’t have the superimposed K-zone on the screen all the time. Kinda refreshing to be able to just let my eyes tell me whether it was a strike or not, and to pay more attention to the actual action rather than an imaginary dot and box.

  27. Filthy 2-seamer! Don’t think he will last long enough to strike out all 27…and the pitcher flies out.

  28. Muncied again. Remember that part about not giving up walks and not giving up HRs? Yeah, me neither.

  29. That’s why i don’t want Folty for Game 1. Knew it. And that’s why getting home field is no big deal for us. Been there, seen it, done that.

  30. Throw fastballs in the center of the plate early in the count to this team and we’re going to lose every game by 10.

  31. Man, Folty is pissed and has no clue where the ball is going. Even these K’s are missing the mitt.

  32. I have never sided with the group that thinks Folty is a head case, but this game is changing my mind a little bit. I’d get him out of there now, he looked utterly dejected- and beaten- when they showed him walking off the mound. Not that I know his mental state or anything but that didn’t look good.

  33. A big group of people can be wrong, but there’s certainly a good reason why so many people think that Folty uniquely has some emotional issues. Shoot, even the Braves State Media are writing fluff articles about it.

  34. I mean what’s his mental state supposed to be right now? He’s getting lit up and has no command. If he wasn’t pissed I’d be worried.

    Our lineup isn’t scary. After Acuna hits it’s a vast desert of no-power.

  35. Snitker is probably the only manager in this postseason who doesn’t pinch hit for a starter getting shelled here.

  36. @85- I didn’t see pissed, I saw defeated. Again, I acknowledge I’m reading a lot into one walk into the dugout, but he didn’t look angry and ready to get back in the fray, he looked like he wanted to be anywhere else. I can sympathize with him feeling that way, if he was, but it doesn’t bode well for him going back out there.

  37. @87 A good idea. We could at least see if we can neuter them with a lefty and then give Newk a start.

  38. Even though we are losing, I enjoy listening to Smoltz and Costas.

    Seems like the Braves do not want us all to suffer heart attack tonight so decided to end this game early.

  39. I just don’t think you can use body language to predict anything. I’m not sure what he’s supposed to do after basically losing Game 1 in 15 minutes…skip happily to the dugout?

  40. The camera has caught Folty looking frustrated a few times. I don’t think there’s a meaningful distinction between defeated vs angry; he just needs to learn from this experience.

  41. And what in the muther luvin fudge is Snitker doing? Good grief I thought we were past this kind of dumbassery.

  42. Folty has matured a lot. Gotta give him credit for that, but throwing him out there for Game 1 for his first playoff game is a bit too much I think.

    I have written this before, but I wanted Gausman to start Game 1.

  43. @94 The bench is back to five men again. Don’t want to use the bench early. It’s not like our bench is strong.

    Now can we score some runs just to give the Dodgers a little pressure?

  44. We shouldn’t have started Pederson/Turner off with fastballs. It set up Folty to fail and spiral downward.

  45. The best I could say is to PH Flaherty, let’s be honest, Flaherty vs. a LHP with a sub-2 ERA is cruel and unusual punishment.

  46. Not pinch-hitting somebody there is massively absurd. And it highlights why carrying three catchers is stupid, because a situation like that is way more likely to happen then having a freak catcher injury while having already used your other catcher.

  47. Who else were you going to carry? Duvall?

    Look, we didn’t want Moose. And he just walked off Milwaukee. We didn’t want Donaldson, and he’s been great for Cleveland. Dansby wasn’t bad luck; it was baseball. Injuries happen. We’ve been remarkably healthy with a thin bench that had no margin for error.

  48. I guess it hardly matters which PH makes an out there. But it does send a defeatist message.

  49. Bob Costas never learned what a tilde means. He can’t pronounce Acuña’s name right.

  50. I would rather have had Duvall than a third catcher, yes. I don’t think it’s a particularly fraught decision, either. Somebody you might use at some point vs. somebody you will never use.

    On the other side, I wasn’t a huge fan of bringing Newcomb along (assuming we weren’t gonna start him), but it didn’t take long for that to turn out to be the right call.

    So we’re 1-for-2 on last-man roster decisions.

  51. We do have a lot of pitching talent to throw at them. But even if Folty limited the damage to just Peterson’s home run, we’d still be behind. We need to scratch a couple off Ryu and hope to get to their pen. Plus, Jansen’s not even that good right now.

  52. We need a few shoryukens to challenge all these hadoukens. Maybe a hurricane kick or three.

  53. At the very least, getting all of these youngsters playoff experience is worth quite a bit. With that said, I’d also like to win the World Series.

  54. I still like being able to PH Suzuki there, but swinging at the first pitch was not ideal.

  55. The difference in the game is two home runs. I trust Anibal and Gaus to keep the ball on the ground a lot better.

  56. You should pinch-hit with him there even if he’s the only backup catcher. That’s exactly my point.

  57. Putting Suzuki there is a correct move. Just poor execution.

    It’s a lot easier pitching with 4 runs down.

    @121 I like Fried a lot, I like Newk a lot, I like Folty a lot. This team is still young. Hope for a better tomorrow!

    Hell, we are only 4 runs down, it’s not like this game is over.

  58. Is there a manager out there that PHs his backup catcher? That might just be a bridge too far for all managers. It’s also suboptimal roster construction to need your backup catcher this bad.

  59. If the Braves somehow come back and win this game, a big portion of the credit has to go to carrying 3 extra starters instead a 3 below average relievers.

  60. @127 it was the right thing to do. They were ignoring him – not even throwing over. He just needed to get a better jump.

    Or maybe it was a hit and run and Camargo missed.

  61. There seems to be something to this “Dodgers don’t hit lefties” thing. Maybe we should reconsider who starts next.

    I hate the Dodgers. I think I’ll go home where the power is out. Sigh.

  62. It was a hit and run. Camargo did his best to make contact but couldn’t reach it.
    But a dumb call. Not enough potential gain to justify risking the out.

  63. Snit had a quick hook with Fried, and Puig hits lefties poorly. Didn’t love the hit and run. Didn’t love Folty hitting.

    Not a great showing thus far.

  64. Braves best starter gets rocked early and team is overmatched in Game 1. Just like 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2012, 2013.

    My wife, therapist and bartender are going to get sick of hearing about this.

  65. 137 — Same s— different year. All too familiar refrain.

    At least it was expected this time.

  66. @137 Well, things were never smooth when we had Maddux, Glavine and Smoltz. So we shouldn’t be surprised by this!

  67. I really don’t see how this compares to other years. In many previous years we’ve had better teams and underperformed in the playoffs. I hate to say it, but the Dodgers have a decidedly better team than we do. We have overperformed most of the year and the Dodgers have underperformed. We still have a chance, not because we’re better, but because we play with a lot of heart, especially with our backs against the wall.

  68. The Game 1 butt-paddling was my point of comparison to playoffs past. It’s happened with Cy young winners and it’s happened with Jarret Wright. It’s just me being sour, but man I’m sick of it. ‘It’s a cruel mistress, this baseball.

  69. @143 Indeed. We are doomed regardless of who we throw out there. We practically had to find six HoFers (including JS and BC) just to get one world series championship.

  70. The whining and fatalism, I could do without.

    The Dodgers are just the worst matchup for us. Their lefties are going to shut us down. A Folty meltdown was not improbable. Anibal will probably be better.

  71. Okay. That sucked. Gotta get a vintage Anibal performance tonight and gotta show why they have been the second best NL team in OPS vs. LHP during the season. Go Braves!

  72. Max Fried
    at a time of great emotional need
    restores some hope and credibility
    the brain still works, the fan regains civility.

  73. @148

    Could be a masterstroke.

    The least expected
    could leave them dejected.

    Them or us, one or the other.

  74. Clayton Kershaw
    his curve may straighten, we’ll guffaw
    miffed he was not picked to open the hostilities
    he’ll bring to the mound corrupted capabilities.

  75. @ 148, again.

    I think it would be a very good idea for Folty to pitch one plus innings mid game. He apparently thinks he is up to it physically. If it’s another blowout so what. If it’s not, his pace could jar after 5 from Annibal. Think about what it could do for his psyche. What’s to lose?

  76. ‘ It’s the bats. Always the bats.’ Marcus Aurelius.

    Square the ball up occasionally for pete’s sake. Acuna in chains. Over and out.

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