The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
Through the first four innings, it seemed this one was destined to wrap up in under 2.5 hours. That is… until I tuned in! I was late getting this one on in between meetings today, but pretty much all the action I needed to see occurred in the span of 40 minutes as Folty and team came completely unraveled.
With the score 1-0 in favor of the Padres, the unraveling started with a Padres bunt tapped down the third base line. Camargo had no chance at a play. It was then followed up by a bunt by the pitcher to sacrifice the runner over to second.
Now, contrary to what Braves fans are tempted to say, Foltynewicz appeared to keep his calm on the mound today. He would surrender grounders through the infield into the outfield. He would surrender soft bloopers (perfectly field-able) to the outfield that would land for hits. At one point, a line drive ran up the mound and off of Folty’s glove/shoulder. That, too, would find its way into the outfield on an errant throw. That’s the kind of inning we, the Braves + Folty + Fans, had as the Padres hung 5 in the 5th.
The Padres would go on to hang another 5 runs on Shane Carle in the 6th inning, and somewhere along the way the Braves would scratch their way out of being shutout. Oh, and as no minor feat, Charlie Culberson would take the mound and do what several Braves (major league) relievers have struggled to do: 1 IP, 0 ER. Sure, there was a hit and a couple of walks, but that just means that a Charlie Culberson relief appearance fits right in. Zing!
This brings me back to my original thought of late: so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster. There are plenty of stories happening in this young season to celebrate, friends, such as: Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson, Ronald AcuÃ±a Jr., Max Fried, and Mike Soroka. I don’t feel any need, whatsoever, to drone on about the obvious, and so it’s for that reason that today’s loss is no disaster.
And there is room for hope, still, regarding the pitching. If the starting pitchers can pitch into or even through the 7th inning more frequently, then that means fewer innings for the bullpen. If we can turn up enough relievers who are on an upward turn in their careers, then we can patch together enough relief coverage to carry us through most games. We can play the hot hands at least until we can make an acquisition. Maybe then, and maybe only then, will fewer things seem filled with the intent to be lost.
For the rest of the poem I quoted in the opening, click here. The author is Elizabeth Bishop, and I highly recommend the read. The poem is titled “One Art.”
To quote Wire:
My crowning of May’s best bullpen lasted one day. The crown has passed.
Is Culberson now the Braves’ best reliever?
I’m only partially kidding.
For a second, I wondered what Culby would have to do to get to a point where they would use him like a Michael Lorenzen or something. And Culby is not so far off that he could improve a little as a pitcher. The Braves are a pretty forward-thinking FO nowadays, and I wouldn’t put it past them to try something like that. If the Reds and Rays will do it; why not us?
Lorenzen’s average 4-seamer is 95 MPH. Culberson has hit 94. It’s not completely out of the realm of possibility that Culberson could easily match Lorenzen’s production. Lorenzen was considered a 1.4 bWAR player last year, and his great relief pitching so far has him at 0.8 bWAR so far this year. I don’t think we’re too far off from having a dozen or so teams from employing a pitcher-hitter on the team. We’re up to 2 now if you count Ohtani.
Whoops, I was wrong. 1.4 bWAR was just his pitching. I forgot you have to check both. He was 0.7 as a hitter, so he was considered a 2.1 bWAR player by B-Ref last year.
@4 What Culby showed me was that we don’t need to keep any pitchers waiting around for garbage time. We need to have 7-8 good relievers and let Culby have all the garbage time pitching there may be. In fact, if you add Culby, maybe you only need 7 relievers and can get another hitter on the team. Might help for instances when Ender is nursing a hammy and JD is nursing a calf (boy, that sure came out strange sounding).
Baseball’s supposed to be fun, and I think it’s fun that you have position players who can do this. And yes, just throw him in garbage time to save arms. I think it’s kinda funny too. If he takes it serious, and he dials it up, and he’s genuinely trying to get hitters out, then just go with it. For me, I’d throw him to the end of the game in the 7th inning or later if we’re down by 6+ runs.
Also, this is a really inconsistent team, and that bothers me a little, but our playoff rotation and bullpen will not be influenced one bit by what guys do in April and early May. Wins in October when the team gets this figured out mean a heck of a lot more than wins in May.
@8 All wins are of about equal importance. If you lose too many in April and May, you don’t play in October. Weighting wins is a bit of a fallacy. That’s what annoys me about the way Anthopolous and the Braves have handled the early part of this season.
No, no, trust me, the wins in October mean a lot. They literally hand out trophies based on it.
Touki was scratched from his start and is likely to be called up. Gausman, Soroka, and Teheran are scheduled starters for the Miami. But they may need a long reliever tomorrow as Jose Urena plans to not only pitch but bat as well.
I hope the Urine man goes down. I still seethe over his bush league bs last year
@10 I’d ask members of last year’s Orioles team if wins in April and May mean any less. They didn’t get many, and come October, they didn’t get any because their slow start left them in the basement.
So, I dreamed last night we were in the NLCS and playing the Dodgers. Braves won the first two games, both something like 2-0. Only little problem for this to become reality: Maddux was pitching in on of the wins.
Culby also showed a mean slider.
And if the Braves lost 3 wins from April last year and added them in October, then we move on after beating the Dodgers. You wouldn’t take that deal?
Losses in April can keep you out of the postseason. And postseason wins are partly random. But as long as you get there, then the wins are much more valuable in October.
@12 I don’t think I’ve ever had such an immature tantrum in my adult life, and possibly not even my entire life, as I did when Acuna went down because of that Urine guy.
I’m above wishing pain on others, but that whole Marlins franchise is a trash heap and an eye sore.
So, with Kluber’s broken arm, the Cleveland rotation is absolutely boned. Why wouldn’t we trade one of our young starters for one of their relievers? They need warm bodies and we’ve got a mess of ’em.
I would throw three curveballs to Urethra and strike him out every AB. Let the doom hang over him for a bit longer. This team has no business getting caught up in a stupid brawl with a garbage team.
had been known to eat prime rib and haddocks
before every start
most nutritionists agreeing this was state of the art.
@15 In 2018 you could do that, possibly, yes. If you transferred those 3 wins to Washington, which would’ve been worst case for the Braves, you squeak out the division by 2 games. A team isn’t always afforded an 8 game lead in the standings, though. This year is going to be much tighter. If you gave the team 3 more April wins, they’re in 1st. If you take 3 away, they’re in 4th. If the season ended today, there’s no October baseball to be played though because of their April and May.
I understand your point about it not mattering how you get there, so long as you do. My point is you can’t devalue April and May because it’s 50 games or so, and those wins are important in the process. If the Braves miss the postseason by 1 or 2 games, that’s really going to be magnified.
For all the people that hate tanking, man, look at the Indians. They could have sold off Bauer and Kluber for a king’s ransom in the offseason, and now Kluber is useless in both use and trade right now, and Bauer will have one less halfseason of team control shaved off. They weren’t contending! Anyone could see that Minnesota was having a sophomore slump last year, and here they are again. The White Sox aren’t far either. The Indians have gone the way of the Bucs and Giants, and I don’t think it’s going to work.
I agree that grabbing one of their relievers is a great idea. I would take two; one that is better than he’s shown (Cimber) and one that is worse than he’s shown but might be a nice flash-in-the-pan for a little while (Otero).
@18 Same. But I would totally plunk him like a year from now. When he least expects it and thinks it’s over.
‘most nutritionists agreeing this was, again, state of the art.’
…funny how, writing verse, the addition of one word in this case greatly improves a blah last line. Now his culinary and pitching skills are linked. Would help though if I had spotted this before and not after the 5 minute cut off.
I think the Braves are still very much in control of whether they win the division. We’re 2 1/2 games back, but we clearly know the problem. And we have the funds and resources to fix it. The other teams have played their hand, and there’s no calvary coming over the hill for them.
With that said, if someone gets hot, that could change. NL East top 4 last 10: 5-5 (PHI), 5-5 (NYM), 4-6 (Barves), 3-7 (WAS).
@21 I’m assuming you’re serious with your “they weren’t contending!” comment. They were, until the Kluber injury, still widely considered the favorites to take the division. They’re only “not contending” in the very same sense that the Braves ain’t contending…
Lilliquist out as Nats pitching coach.
@25 The Twins are probably going to win that division. Both Wild Cards are coming out of the East. I really don’t think the Indians were going to the playoffs this year. I have a good buddy who’s a huge Indians fan, and he’s really frustrating they’ve traded away so many future pieces to be where they are right now. I don’t blame him for being mad.
@26 All that points to is a probable rift between the manager, the pitchers, and the front office. Not sure where the lines are drawn, but that just seems like a volatile situation developing in early May.
When will the accountability boomerang come back and hit Mike Rizzo?
The Nats are a trainwreck franchise.
@27 The Indians wouldn’t increase payroll. There’s the problem. Their owners are happy with how the team is positioned, and Kluber is just an unfortunate unforeseeable event that perfectly explains why that team will slip from contention this year. 🙂
Only nerds are worried about future pieces.
Jose Urena is getting drilled tonight.
I started to talk about our pitching and bullpen season to date and began to abbreviate it as std and then realized how that could be misinterpreted. But then it quickly dawned on me our bullpen std is very much like an STD.
@32 Those guys ain’t getting laid…
Before anyone goes too far over on the whole HBP deal, remember that the Braves are currently #9 in HBP (of course, the Marlins are #2). We’ve hit a lot of guys – Sobotka, Carle, and Touki are the worst offenders
I know we know who Urine is and it’s different from what the Braves have done, but let’s not get too carried away.
@34 agreed. He’s so gonna get hit today though.
I mean isn’t it supposed to be you hit our star, we hit your star? …checks Mia lineup:
1. LF Curtis Granderson (L)
2. SS Miguel Rojas (R)
3. RF Brian Anderson (R)
4. 2B Starlin Castro (R)
5. 1B Martin Prado (R)
6. C Jorge Alfaro (R)
7. 3B Jon Berti (R)
8. CF Rosell Herrera (S)
9. SP Jose Urena (R)
Oh, well nevermind.
I never like hitting a pitcher who would’ve been an auto out otherwise, but if there’s one case I might make an exception…
Is that the Marlins’ actual lineup? I think at least a few of those people are made up.
I was at the game yesterday. Excluding pitchers, only 1 of our lineup (Camargo) had an OPS lower than their best player (Reyes). So of course we lost 11-2.
Looking at that Marlins lineup and the pitching matchups, anything less than a sweep would be a massive disappointment, but that means we will lose 2 of 3 right?
Yeah this feels like it might be one of those weekend where everyone assumes we just roll over the Marlins, and instead, we win the Urena payback but lose the series.
Is The Bringer of Rain (ugh) playing tonight?
Sinclair Broadcasting has bought the Fox Sports outlets.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master; so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster… good bye only hopes for a decent, respectable baseball team owner.
@36 I believe star for a star is the unwritten rule, but I’ve never liked it. A position player could get plunked and have zero to do with any of it. For instance, let’s say Realmuto is still playing for the Fish. He’d unquestionably be the guy getting drilled. You could tell by his reaction last year that he wasn’t about what Urena did.
I listened to Urena’s take on the pitch, and he didn’t seem all that sorry about hitting Acuna. He was upset he got tossed, trying to play the “I don’t understand why” card. Dude is a piece of garbage. He should wear one tonight.
“Jon Berti” sounds like a name made up by someone at Konami who didn’t want to pay the MLBPA to use someone’s real name.
Either Soto or Rendon is sitting tonight against Phillies after being hit by Urena. Maybe both?! Kurt hits fifth – that i do remember.
We can’t even pull off something easy
Gausman deserved to be ejected for missing him. That was pathetic all around.
I CAN’T WATCH! What happened?
I said it many times last year and it’s true again this year. The Braves have the worst hitting pitchers in the league. Check it out on Fangraphs. Braves are #30.
How can Chip and Co completely ignore that 3 pitch strike out of Prado while they fooled around? Fabulous.
@47 – Gausman threw the first pitch behind Urena and got ejected immediately. It probably didn’t help that he had already hit Berti. Touki now pitching.
Who knew BMac and Jeff had to have their ties tied in 2005? Thanks Chip.
BMac having no part of the 35 second home run trot.
Can anyone tell me why Mattingly was ejected after Touki walked Prado? Was Touki trying to hit him? Really hope the Braves weren’t going after Martin, that would seem pretty crap after how good he was for us back in the day.
I’m only listening on the radio, but I think it was over a strike call on a 3-0 pitch to the next batter. Our radio guys agreed that it was clearly ball 4.
I’m not so sure that that ball four wasn’t a make-up call.
Webb is pitching extremely well. He seems like a keeper so far.
You’d have to think recalling Touki was a response to knowing Gausman was going to get thrown out.
Well, duh, Roger. Why else? They totally brought up a starter because they saw 3 Benefits:
1) End the Urena thing.
2) Show the players that you care about what’s important to them by putting your SP in a position to drill the douche nozzle in the ribs. He just missed.
3) But, also, win the game.
Gotta give it to the Braves for this weird move.