Not a recap–but I hear the Snakes beat the Braves 4-1

Today’s game was a noon start on getaway day.  They used to call these games a businessman’s special.  That never made much sense to me.  If a man or a woman is working in the day, what makes us think they can take most of the day off to go to the game?

Come to think of it—maybe I do know.  Some of you on here will remember the phenomenal start the 1982 Braves had.  They won a record 13 consecutive games to start the season.  In fact, that start alone pretty much propelled them to a division title; after that great start, they weren’t much better than a .500 team.  Well, in April 1982 I was a relatively new employee at a prominent firm in downtown Atlanta.  In the midst of that streak, the Braves played one of those weekday afternoon games.  Several of us decided to take a very long lunch at the Varsity, where we could watch the game on TV.  I’m sure we came up with some excuse that we were gone so long.  The problem came the next morning when the Atlanta Constitution ran a front page story about how Atlanta was so excited about the Braves.  Sure enough, the main photo on the front page showed me at the V eating my chili dog and rings and cheering on Murph, Horner, Hubbard, and the rest of the Braves.  I didn’t get in trouble, but I worried for days that a senior partner would ask me about that day.

Back to the present.  Unlike that afternoon in 1982, I had a crucial meeting all afternoon today, and I didn’t even get a chance to glance at my mlb app and check the score until the seventh inning.  So I don’t really have a game recap for y’all.  If you care about the Braves—and of course you do or you wouldn’t be reading this blog—then you already know all the details of today’s game.  Braves bats mostly silent, Soroka pretty good, bullpen mostly stinks, series sweep.

Instead of recapping the game, I’ll exercise the privilege of this space to express my thoughts (or perhaps more accurately, my feelings) about this team so far.  There has been a lot of grumbling on this blog and elsewhere among the Braves’ faithful.  I dislike current ownership as much as the next guy.  Like most of you, I wish they had added an extra bat or an arm or both this offseason.  I know the team just got swept and they are now just 9 and 9.  The bullpen has been terribly frustrating. I spend most of the late innings of these games yelling at my TV, “Throw strikes!”. 

But it’s way too early to draw any strong conclusions—one way or the other. I realize I’m not an objective observer, but I’m quite optimistic.  I believe this will be a special team. My Braves fandom is profoundly influenced by the miserable years.  2015-17 were awful; but so were 1985-1990 and 1975-1981.  I watched and hoped and rooted for them even through those times. Let me tell you, this team has more young talent than any I remember (except of course the early to mid-nineties). And just as I can’t help but be hopeful, I also can’t choose not to follow the team and root for them. After 50 plus years of rooting for this laundry, I know that boycotting out of frustration with management is not an option for me.

In any event, I don’t want to boycott!  This is a good team that could be excellent. They are great fun to watch, and I’m enjoying them more than I expected. There is a lot to like. Acuña is even better than he was last year, and he was the most exciting rookie we’d seen in many years.  I love the way he is taking the close pitches.  The sky is the limit for him—and he will be a Brave for most of the next decade.  Ozzie might be my favorite player in decades.  He is hitting righties, he is also taking pitches, and his enthusiasm and baseball savvy are off the charts.  And he will be Ronald’s teammate for all those years.  With his wrist apparently healed, Swanson may actually be a pretty good mlb hitter.  If so, with his excellent defense and base-running, he is a very valuable player.  I was a Camargo skeptic two years ago, but he is now and will be a very valuable player.  Freddie is still a delight and the best first baseman in the league.  Defensively, this is the best team in the league.

The starting pitching has been quite good.  Gausman is looking like a very smart pickup last July.  Julio may have another decent year in him.  (I like Julio, but I’m not counting on him.) I’m anxious to get Folty back.  People seem to forget how good he was last year.  I’m ready to see if he can maintain that level.

But it’s the kid pitchers that keep me riveted.  I know TNSTAAPP, and these kids will break your heart, but we may finally be seeing the fruits of the absurd stockpile of high upside pitchers the rebuild was all about. Fried has been outstanding, and appears ready to finally fulfill his promise.  Touki looked great in his first appearance and gets the start tomorrow.  My favorite of the scores of young pitchers over the past three years has been Soroka.  Sore shoulders make me nervous (see, e.g., Vizcaino), but his stuff and smarts is as good as anyone.  I hear he looked pretty sharp today; he tossed 58 strikes in 85 pitches. That’s what I love about him.  I expect Wright to be back in the bigs before long; he has as much promise as any of them.

The one glaring flaw (the bullpen) is one they share with their division rivals, and should be the easiest to fix. (Just do it, AA!) I expect an exciting race to the wire, and I plan to watch them and pull for them all the way. 

It’s on to Cleveland and whatever they call Jacobs Field nowadays.  Touki faces Kluber; ought to be fun.  I expect Ronald to hit one in the lake.

Author: tfloyd

Tfloyd was born on the site of Atlanta Fulton County Stadium. Before the stadium was built, that is; it was then the site of Piedmont Hospital. It took the Braves another 11 years to arrive on what is now Hank Aaron Drive, but I‘ve always liked to arrive at the ballpark early.

47 thoughts on “Not a recap–but I hear the Snakes beat the Braves 4-1”

  1. Preach!

    Yours truly, The Choir

    And don’t forget Skip’s characterization of a Businessman’s Special: The day businessmen show up at games with their 22 year old daughters.

  2. If Contreras and Pache work out in addition to Albies, Acuna, Camargo and Swanson, that’s quite a group of young position players.

  3. Beautiful ‘recap’, thank you, tfloyd.
    Braves fan forever here, no matter how poor they might play, how much the owners may be disliked and no matter how annoying Chip is and Joe was and is.

    Some of you put it nicely in the last thread.
    I will continue to fly over just to see the Braves play once or twice per year and again in the playoffs this fall.

    Go Braves.

  4. Beautifully written, wise, profound in its own way.

    Int. al., a vivid response to our recent defector.

    Lovely story about being caught red handed in the newspaper and nobody noticed.

    I won’t read anything better today. Thank you.

  5. Nice (not a)recap tfloyd.

    I do have to disagree with the assertion that the starting pitching has been “quite good.”

    Through 18 games Braves starters are in the bottom half of the league by pretty much any measure I can find – IP, ERA, FIP, Ks, BBs(!), WAR. It’s been a league-average group at best and by no means a playoff-caliber rotation.

    I’m reminded of the story of the frog in the pot that is slowly boiled to death, not realizing how hot the water got because the change was gradual. I think we Braves fans have gone so long without an elite starting staff that we have forgotten what one really looks like. The last time a Braves starter finished in the top-10 in baseball was Javier Vasquez in 2009. Braves starters as a group last did it in 2014, and have only been top-10 in 3 years sing 2005.

  6. I was taken by surprise by how good the Diamondbacks were. In every department it seemed. Game ready, no fear.

  7. So what’s the best way to buy tickets to a Braves game? I’ve looked at TicketMaster, but where do you guys go to get good deals on tickets?

  8. Does anybody have experice with TickPick or SeatGeak? They look a bit risky, and the reviews suggest as much with ticket scammers ripping people off.

  9. I’ve used a lot of different discount sites, from Stubhub to Groupon to Premium Seats USA and Ticketsatwork. (The latter two have mild discounts through Perkspot, which a lot of companies use as a discount provider.) I find that the discounts off of face value all tend to be pretty similar across sites, but sometimes you can find a good seat location for the price.

  10. I have a buddy that uses SeatGeek all the time. No problems that I know of. But go with what you feel safe with. Stubhub is the standard, I think.

  11. Another option is to buy cheap seats directly from MLB use the “upgrade” feature to move down to better seats in the 3rd(?) inning. You could probably get a better deal on the secondary market though.

  12. @2 Don’t forget that Waters is destined to be one of the best leadoff hitters in the league.

    @6 I have to go with tfloyd on this. Outside of injury replacements and beginning of year experiments, the starting pitching has been very good. Outside of Wright and Wilson, the Braves would be around 13th/14th in WAR and adding Folty back in the mix will make it even better. If we settle on Folty, Gaus, Teheran, Fried, Soroka, Touissant, I’d give even odds we do end up near the top 10 in MLB.

    Also, Folty had the 13th highest WAR last year. Maybe not top 10 but pretty close. If you count only starting performances, Fried would be in the lower teens in WAR.

  13. Economy? Buy Gen Adm at the ticket office, and sit in lower level down the lines. This will work for 90% of the games. Don’t park at the Battery if you can avoid it. Most area hotels have shuttles. It’s worth paying a bit extra for the hotel just to avoid parking.

    If you’re looking for GOOD tickets, Stubhub or any of the others will have some decent prices on gameday.

  14. Re: rooting for the laundry, I have so many memories of listening to, watching, and attending games with my grandparents, parents and siblings from the last 35 years or so. I vividly remember watching Dale Murphy vs. the Cubs with 10 other people in Fulton County, crying tears of joy when Bream beat the throw at home, Skip and Pete make things interesting when the Braves were down by 10 runs, and listening to Brooks Conrad blow the game against the Giants while driving through the Nevada desert.

    I am just a Braves fan. That’s the way it is and will always be no matter what the stupid owner does or who they trade or don’t trade for.

  15. Of course you root for the laundry. It’s the home town team. It’s basically family. They may be assholes and idiots, but you’re stuck with them.

  16. It’s like the Majestic on Ponce. It’s not like it’s GOOD. But it’s there, and it’s part of what makes Atlanta Atlanta for me, along with Stomp and Stammer, the Varsity, the Vortex, the Brick Store, Manuel’s Tavern, Full Moon Records, and that one half-season by Charles Thomas before we traded him for Tim Hudson.

  17. I wonder who the 26th man will be. Since a lot of people think Wilson projects as a reliever long term maybe he should get a shot down there.

  18. Duvall has been doing alright down in AAA.
    Didn’t agree with the move at the time but it might just work out after all to get him right in Gwinnett.

  19. @19 But Liberty Media’s not family. They’re the definition of the people who were the foster parents during a bad stretch where Daddy Turner lost his job and home became a mess, so the team had to go live in a state-appointed “safe” situation with some folks who didn’t care if the team had pencils and paper for school so long as the school kept the team from starving to death and the checks from the state kept coming in.

    Yeah, as soon as the team is out of their control, they can forget about phone calls and invitations to celebrations.

  20. So Huascar Ynoa is getting the fast-track. He’s only 20, but he had to be added to the 40-man this past offseason. He got promoted to AA today, who already has 6 starting pitchers, so the speculation is that he’ll be working in relief. So maybe he’s considered one call from the big leagues and a possible bullpen reinforcement, but considering his lack of actual on-field performance, I think he is getting the fast-track to see if he’s worth actually keeping on the 40-man. If you’re asking me in 2019 with the bullpen in the condition its in, the need to put the best pitchers on the 40-man, I’d be looking to get him off and put one of these FAs on the 40-man and work them out in AAA. Contending teams lose tweeners like Ynoa all the time because the 40-man spot is too valuable.

  21. Jacob deGrom’s elbow is “barking” according to Mickey Calloway and he’s getting an MRI. While I take no pleasure in a player missing time to injury, it doesn’t bother me that a rival is weakened considering the injury situation we’re in.

  22. Stomp & Stammer seems to have lost its fastball. I think Lee Satterfield isn’t nearly the equal of Susan Moll or David T. Lindsay. But reactionary is the whole point! Whether it’s Lindsay’s movie reviews or Matty Boy Anderson’s Bands I Useta Like, growing up reading Stomp and Stammer taught me a lot about how to get angry about stuff that’s important.

  23. Terrible pitch calling to again change a strikeout to a walk. Always trying to be too fine and it burns this staff time and time again

  24. Donaldson K’s again. He is around 50% K rate over the last three games. Maybe Riley’s 33% is starting to look good.

    Regardless of the two hits, guess who scored? The walk.

  25. Every 0-2 or 1-2 count turns into a full count. This has got to stop. Either it’s the pitch calling or the catcher target. Every pitcher capable of getting two strikes should be able to get one more.

  26. Cleveland doing us a big favor with that dumb bunt. Hopefully Julio can escape again.

  27. Damn, that ump will not call an inside strike – evan an obvious one. And because of that Moroff hit a HR on a 2-2 pitch when he should have been out.

  28. Wonder if anyone has ever talked to Ozzie about giving up on this whole switch-hitting thing.

  29. More weak swings on bad pitches from Donaldson. Maybe he needs to get his eyes checked.

  30. Well, Greg Allen just doubled his avg from .033 to .065 with that double off of Julio. And another hit will likely chase Julio who threw over 100 pitches in less than 5 innings and is not gonna leave us in a winning position.

  31. Why won’t they use Tomlin? Especially in the 5th of a losing game? His main feature is that he doesn’t walk anyone.

    Parsons now is up to two walks and two hits, hasn’t gotten anyone out, and the bullpen is showing Biddle.

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