Braves 7, Tigers 4

The Braves put up 4 runs in the bottom of the 8th, after the Tigers had put up 3 runs in the top of the inning to tie it, and that was enough to deliver the series 2 games to 1. Dansby Swanson drew a one out walk and scored on Freddie Freeman‘s double, and the Braves added 3 unearned runs, highlighted by Charlie Culberson‘s 2 out pinch-hit RBI triple.

Swanson drove in the first 2 runs in the 2nd inning with his 12th home run of the season, and doubled in pinch-hitter Matt Joyce in the 5th to finish with 3 RBI’s. However, Dansby’s error in the 8th opened the door for back to back 2 out home runs by Grayson Greiner and JaCoby Jones.

Julio Teheran threw 5 scoreless innings, laboring in the 5th, but escaped a bases-loaded jam. 6 Braves relievers wrapped it up, including a Newky, Touki, and Lukey sighting. Jacob Webb allowed the 8th inning homers; Luke Jackson allowed one to Christin Stewart in a non-save situation.

The Braves pull within a game of the Phillies. At Pittsburgh Tuesday at 7:05; Max Fried and Steven Brault scheduled.

Author: Rusty S.

Rusty S. is a Braves Journal reader since 2005 and an occasional innings-eater. It was my understanding that there would be no expectations.

19 thoughts on “Braves 7, Tigers 4”

  1. Chip is still muttering about JT’s failure to get a Win. I’m pretty sure we would win the division easily if our starters go 0-0 for the rest of the season.

    JaCoby Jones reminds me of Sarah Jessica Parker’s character in LA Story: SanDeE*.

    538 gives us a 30% chance of winning the division and a 48% chance of making the playoffs. They still rank both the Phillies and Nats ahead of us, though they have us a hair better than the LOLMets.

  2. I know it’s not really important, but Chip’s focus on pitcher wins continues to drive me crazy. When the Tigers tied it in the top of the 8th, I would have thought the biggest concern was that the Braves’ chances of winning the game went from over 90% to about 50%. Losing this game would have been a major bummer.
    Julio not getting a “win” was not even on my radar screen. In an era when starters go 5 or 6 innings, pitcher wins are much less important than they ever were.

  3. If the Braves starters go 0-0 over the rest of the season…the Braves would easily compete with the Fish in finishing last in the division.

  4. I’m not saying wins are the most important thing for a SP, but they’re not meaningless. To get a win they generally have to pitch half decent, which gives them some value. Granted the team winning is more important, though. Chip mentioning them doesn’t really bother me, however. It’s just his thing.

  5. @3

    Not necessarily, since if the starters go 0-0 they aren’t losing either.

    But with our pen, yeah, we’re sleeping with the Fish.

  6. @3,5: No, I meant it. If your starting pitchers have no losses, it means they never left the game with a deficit that the offense didn’t overcome… and there are no minimum innings pitched for a loss. Such games are the overwhelming fraction of losses… that’s why starting pitching is so important.
    No wins meant that either they didn’t go 5 but departed with a lead of unknown magnitude or that they went five and were tied or had a lead that the bullpen blew. But even horrible bullpens would be responsible for no more than 30 or 40 losses… that would be a great record!

  7. Miami’s team OPS, removing the pitchers, for 2019, is +/- 650. As a team, they’re basically hitting like Ender Inciarte. A lot more than not having starters go deep into games would have to change in order for this Braves team to devolve into that Marlins team.

  8. Julio has made more starts (13) and pitched more innings (9.1 innings more) than any other starter in the rotation, yet he has just 3 W’s. The only starters with fewer W’s are Gausman (has been terrible) and Folty (only 7 starts so far).

    I think a more alarming statistic for Julio is that in 7 of his 13 starts he has pitched 5 innings or fewer.

    It would be easy (and lazy) for me to now try to lay his decision drought on this stat, and it would also be wrong. One could make a defensible claim that if Teheran pitched deeper into games more often, he would be in line for more decisions. It might also be the case that he would give up more runs and we’d lose more games because of him. All of that is very possible.

    No, the real reason why Teheran doesn’t have more wins is because he likely faces better pitchers when it’s his turn to pitch. The Braves seem to score later in his games.

    Of course, what is absolutely true of Fried and Soroka is that they don’t usually pitch 5-innings or less, and if they do something went wrong. They lead the team in W’s and they tend to pitch through the 6th when they’re going strong. Julio Teheran, otoh, definitely does not.

  9. @7 Your claim that even horrible bullpens are responsible for no more than 30-40 losses is a reach considering a hypothetical scenario where your starters are 0-0. Let’s assume some scenario where the starters never pitch as many as 5-innings when they’re in line for a W and never pitch more than 5-innings when tied or trailing. Is there any bullpen in baseball equipped to pitch that many innings while remaining effective? Surely such a team would be in line for >81 losses.

    I don’t want this year’s Braves to find out the answer, of course. Julio Teheran is pitching borderline cromulently, but he comes with a certain amount of overhead in that his games require more relievers than our actually good starters do.

  10. Still think Swanson is a .250 12 HR 55/60 RBI guy. Last night doesn’t change that.

    — May 23

    Dansby Swanson, through June 2: .264/.320/.495, 12 HR, 41 RBI

    He leads the team in RBI, is second to Freddie in HR and SLG, and third in OPS; among the six batting-title-qualified hitters on the team, he has by far the lowest BABIP, .274. If that comes up even just to the .290 BABIP he posted last year, his average and OBP will both rise.

  11. You’d think he’d like the type of player Dansby has become. Dansby launch angle has increased, he’s become more of a power hitter than anyone thought he would. His exit velo has also increased, which has really fueled the majority of the growth. And he’s doing that with the highest sprint speed on the team (29.5 MPH yesterday on that go-ahead score!), and playing really good defense. The metrics aren’t liking his defense so far, though, and that probably has something to do with the 6 errors and his UZR being way down.

    If his defense normalizes and he can keep this offense up, he’s a 4+ WAR player, a borderline All-Star in an extremely crowded shortstop market.

  12. @10: OK, 50. Fortunately, we’ll never know. My only point is that focusing on the first 0 without focusing on the second one is highly misleading. Indeed, it might be better to focus on losses for starting pitchers than wins. Neither is a great measure, of course, since they are highly offense-dependent. But give me a starting a pitcher who never loses a game and teams are going to have a great record in games that he starts, even if his win totals are low. And that’s true even if your bullpen sucks.

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