The Jinx is Lifted – Braves 12 – Pirates 5

I keep waiting for that night when Fried is going to pitch so well that I can really toot his horn. That hasn’t happened before now and it didn’t happen tonight. So, what I’d like everyone to realize is how well Fried adjusted after a disaster of a 1st inning (compared, say, to how well Gausman adjusted). The kid pitched with guts and determination for three innings after the first giving up only one more run.    I really think that the first inning was caused by the Braves not being ready for a team like the Pirates.  Fried and everyone else had to adjust the way they pitch to succeed.  Having had so many issues with throwing strikes, the Braves ran into a team that loves pitchers that pitch strikes.  When the Braves pitchers started throwing more stuff off the plate, the Pirates stopped hitting.

Two other things about this game stuck out like sore thumbs.  First, 3-run HRs are really great.  The more the merrier.  And, second, the Braves relievers were more than outstanding; they were nearly perfect.  For five innings they gave up one hit and three walks and no runs.  Five pitchers combined for five shutout innings – Touki, Winkler, Newk, Swarzak, and Tomlin.  Only Newk couldn’t finish an inning (side note: Snitker is getting really good at pulling Newk, particularly, but all of the relievers before some disaster strikes.  He seems to be learning his team and adapting).

After tattooing Fried in the first, the Pirates spent the rest of the game trying really hard to force the Braves to win.  They committed errors leading to unearned runs in three separate innings.  And then, of course, they forced the Braves to hit HRs in three consecutive innings to end the game.  We need to play guys like this more often.

I’m kinda tired and was distracted (family, sheesh) for a lot of the game.  So I’m gonna make this quick.  1st inning = Fried, 2 outs, 5 straight hits including a *ugh* Melky HR, 4 runs scored.  2nd inning = Fried, 2 outs AGAIN, 3 straight hits, 1 run scored.  3rd and 4th innings = Fried, 1 hit, 1 walk, no runs scored.  Meanwhile, on the Braves side, the Braves scored a run in each of the first two innings but should have had much more.  Their more recent tendencies to swing at every first pitch certainly let Brault off the hook a couple of times even though he had no idea where the strike zone was.  Even Max pitched in with a hit of his own to continue his dominance among the pitchers hitting.

So there we were, at 4 innings, down 5-2.  Game over, right?  Not this team.  After scratching out a run in the 6th on a Joyce single, the next three innings consisted of Riley 3-run HR (7th), Donaldson 3-run HR (8th), and FF5 2-run HR (9th).  BOOM, Braves win.  Tuesday jinx broken.  Temporarily in 1st place.  Thus all is right with the world.  Please don’t tell Austin this game is hard.

Just have to mention one more item about our wonderful bench, too.  Every pinch hitter got on base.  The pitcher’s spot in the lineup was 3/4 with a walk – not too shabby – Joyce RBI single, Camargo double, Culberson walk and run scored.

32 thoughts on “The Jinx is Lifted – Braves 12 – Pirates 5”

  1. Well done Roger. I hope I’m ready for the Wednesday pressure to keep the streak going.

  2. The offense is fun when they get rolling. I would like to see Johan get some time at 2b to give Ozzie a rest. It just doesn’t seem like he is squaring up too many balls as of late and he isn’t really a player that works counts very much either.

  3. I fell asleep early so the end result was a pleasant surprise this morning after a less than inspiring draft day.

    When I fell asleep, the Braves were 0-11 with RISP after the 4th inning. One of those was a GIDP meaning every single out in the first 4 innings was with runners in scoring position. That was amazing to me.

    On the draft, it doesn’t appear that any of the picks were college seniors (usually can get them in for minimal bonuses) leading me to think we won’t see any overslot action today. So in a year with the 6th highest bonus pool and 2 first round picks, the Braves seem likely to come away with only 2 players in MLB’s top 150 (3 in BA as DeVito from Seton Hall was 114 for them). Maybe they will prove me wrong today…

  4. Alluding to Snitker’s managerial decisions, I have to give him a solid B to B+. I think he’s adapted well to analytics and considering what he has in the bullpen I think he has done a good job overall with the pitching staff. So far it has been a pleasant surprise.

  5. 4—No seniors, but I think they still saved a fair amount of money across the 10 rounds and should have enough to make a run at one or more tough signs in the first few rounds today.

  6. Oh, this is just rich.

    Feinsand – Yankees emerging as favorites to sign Keuchel.

    “Atlanta was thought to be have a fairly inflexible payroll, and up-and-comers Max Fried and Mike Soroka have gotten off to strong starts in the Braves’ rotation. But the National League East remains wide open (Atlanta begins Tuesday just a half-game back of the Phillies), and so bolstering the rotation could help the Braves get out in front of the impending Trade Deadline rush that will kick into high gear in the coming weeks.”

  7. Good work, Roger. Now let this be the beginning of a Tuesday win streak. Pressure’s now on you, JonathanF.

    Speaking of streaks, I’d like to think of this season as analogous to the 1992 Braves. (as 2018 had a lot in common with 1991). After unexpectedly going from worst to first in 1991, there was serious doubt whether they could repeat, after falling as much as 7 games below .500 in late May. But then, at about this same time of year, they reeled off 20 out of 23 and never looked back. This team doesn’t have the pitching of that team, but the offense is a good deal better.

  8. Cleveland is 10.5 games back. I wouldn’t mind having Trevor Bauer’s services for the remainder of the season.

  9. @10 Trevor Bauer is exactly who I would want them to target. He is #1 on the makeshift list in my head.

  10. Austin Riley
    did not grade last night’s pitcher highly
    said he had no idea who they might be
    its helpful they all look the same to me.

  11. Question of the season so far put to a young slugger…

    ‘Did you know who was pitching?

  12. @12. Wow.

    “Surely you’re not suggesting that was on purpose?!”

    ” … ”

    And he called him a prick on TV?! Who is this guy who makes Joe Simpson look like the PC police?
    How is he on TV?

  13. so much for analytics
    if the games pretentious critics
    can provoke an admission
    indifference, it’s not nuclear fission.

  14. @12 I had to look up Steve Blass because I honestly didn’t know who the dude was. I wonder if he’s maybe just a little salty about the fact that over the course of about a season Acuna has posted 1/3 of the WAR that Blass did for his entire career?… Lol.

  15. @8 I get not signing Keuchel for baseball reasons. The Braves have a young staff, and it’s performed admirably so far. So if they want to say we don’t want to lay out “X” amount of dollars over “X” amount of years, and block a rotation spot… Hey, I get it.

    To say they’re not going to do it though because they don’t have any financial flexibility, when all we heard was the offseason was played the way it was to give the club financial flexibility in-season, is infuriating.

    If they can’t find Kimbrel money, I’m going to explode.

  16. I see no indications that the Braves are currently IN on Kimbrel. The Braves have at least been said to be in the same ballpark as the Yankees on their offer. The thought is that the Braves’ payroll is inflexible, which would lead me to believe they have some figures they’re sticking with and won’t be going beyond (or asking permission to spend more — seems that is a moot point).

    What we should be interested to find out is what Kechel ends up signing for. That will give us some indication of the room they believe they have in the payroll.

    At this point, I imagine Keuchel’s offers are in the vicinity of ~$11M for the remainder of the season. That looks like a Braves offer with some room to add another player via trade (a reliever?) this year.

    But yeah, if they do absolutely nothing I’d be infuriated.

  17. @19 and 20

    They aren’t even spending on the draft!


    “But his leadership and defense are just as important! How dare you! He has a Silver Slugger and is a Professional Hitter!”

  18. Ronald Scuba signed for chump change. Nobody offered more than the Braves’ pittance.

    Guess what? He did okay. Maybe the Braves scouts know what they see in these wasted picks.

  19. A Pirates announcer calls Acuna a prick, and he’s somehow still employed.


  20. This Kimbrel situation is so bizarre. I honestly thought he’d sign Monday or Tuesday.

  21. Not sure what Kimbrel’s agent’s saying, but Boras said that Keuchel needs to “decant”. Come the heck on, dude. The only people that look worse than the players are the owners, and the only people that look worse than the owners are the players. They’re both a set of greedy a-holes.

  22. Even the prorated version of Keuchel’s $17.9MM qualifying offer for value checks in close to $11.5MM, and few teams have that type of money budgeted this time of year. The Braves, for instance, are “uncomfortable” with that price point, per Sherman.

    So let me get this straight: The Braves said during spring training that they still had around $15 million available in the 2019 budget to offer Kimbrel, but didn’t want to do the three or more years he was demanding, and their not signing Kimbrel was all right because it gave them “financial flexibility,” and now that it’s financial flexibility’s time to shine after all the derision that phrase received, apparently no, the team does not have the flexibility to sign Keuchel.

  23. Nobody else is signing them either. I think I’m right about owners making this into some hill they are going to die on.

  24. Reports are saying Cubs are hot after Kimbrel now.

    27 – To play devil’s advocate a bit, if you only have $15 million to spend, then allocating $11-12 million to one player could understandably give one pause.

  25. So any draft guys know if the Isaiah Johnson that the Braves drafted in the 14th is the same as Jared Johnson who is ranked #209 on BA? Their profiles are similar 6’2′ 225 vs 6’3′ 200 and they are both RHP from the same Mississippi High School.

    Edit: They are the same guy. Several high upside overslot guys today, which is making the strategy make some more sense.

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