The Immovable Object – deGrom 8 – Braves 0

I’m really jealous of many of our recappers and commentators that are way more creative than I am. I try and try to come up with something interesting or entertaining to say and I get nothing.  Especially for a game like this – remembering Opus from the Berke Breathed comics is the best I have. When he was depressed, he’d go sit in a field of dandelions. Those comics made such an impression on my oldest daughter that, when she became an artist her magnum opus was a six foot dandelion that was a mixed media sculpture (wood, steel, fabric). Unusual for an art piece, it was designed to be interactive for kids (very springy – a characteristic my daughter called “woogly”). Her little sister (at 6yo) proved its success as you can tell from the picture.


My only purpose in talking about this is that the picture above should represent pure joy as an offset to the ugliness and depression of tonight’s game. I’d bill this game as the Unstoppable Force (Braves offense) against the Immovable Object (deGrom). Well, tonight, the Unstoppable Force crashed and burned. It happens. And, of course, it happened on Tuesday night. Bad Julio further rudely interrupted this theme by making an unexpected appearance against a Mets offense that should be the Easily Stoppable Force. Bad Julio survived for two innings before the Mets shellacked him in the 3rd and 4th for 6 runs. At this point, I prayed for a huge thunderstorm before the 5th ended but no such luck.

I can’t say that any of the other pitchers that followed were much better. Touki needs to go back to AAA and get his mojo back. The only one to not give up a run was Dayton. Of course, he had to load the bases before getting out of his inning. I guess the silver lining was the two solo homers Freddie and JD hit off deGrom in the 9th. Especially amusing since deGrom had no business trying to finish that game. Also ironic as the Mets had just hit two solo homers off of Tomlin. Sigh. I especially appreciated Freddie’s HR as not only did it end deGrom’s shutout bid but it also showed the home plate ump what Freddie Freeman does to actual strikes.

Tomorrow’s another day and, when we win tomorrow, this game will be quickly and thankfully forgotten.

22 thoughts on “The Immovable Object – deGrom 8 – Braves 0”

  1. Well done Roger, somehow you handled the Tuesday bogey again.

    We need to address the fact that we have two young outfielders who are making a habit of getting the ball in their glove and letting go of it. We’ll never know how that might have affected tonight’s game. Two outs became back to back doubles. Hardly the only problem we had tonight but it’s happening too often.

  2. @2 That problem solves itself when our LF goes back to 3B and we get our all-world fielder (i.e. Pache) into CF and our CF back to LF.

    When we have LF=Acuna, CF=Pache, and RF=Waters, our OF defense will be impregnable.

  3. Good recap, Rog! Agreed that Touki needs to take a trip to Gwinnett and hopefully we will get to see what Huascar has to offer again soon (although it’ll have to wait 8 days unless someone goes to the IL).

    I should have my 2nd piece up later today to discuss Relief Pitching targets. Hope y’all will join in on the conversation!

  4. Thanks, Roger. We were due to be on the receiving end of one of these games, and deGrom’s pretty good I’ve heard. Today’s another game. Flush yesterday and win the series.

    Look forward to today’s lesson, Ryan C.

  5. @3

    Good thought but who will be there in the play offs and how polished will they be- we are entitled to think and plan like that now, right?

  6. Teach your kids to pitch, folks. The dearth of big league relief pitching is amazing.

  7. To generalize…I used the word sloppy the other day about Touki and got jumped on – rightly, lazy choice of words. But he seems to challenge the lexicon right now and it happened again last night.

    Again, generalizing…his two innings were poles apart in terms of results and effort imparted, to my eye at least. He came in when JT had been pounded, barrelled all over the place.

    IMMEDIATELY, it was a different ball game for the moment. Old men cried and remembered their mothers.

    Hitters who had been contemptuous of Julio were made to look ridiculous, swinging and missing by a mile sometimes before the pitch had even arrived. What Touki can put on a ball is an extraordinary skill, it’s thrilling to watch.

    But then. Inevitably, there was a hit, a walk, the first run given up and everything seemed to change with our friend. His focus, his caring, to me was out the window. Call it what you will he was a different person and had to be taken out.

    The old story – 2 hits, 2 walks, 2 runs, 2 innings. One for me, one for them?

    Now you tell me he will be sent down. Should not happen. He will wallow there, quickly lose interest. Keep him here, jump all over him, keep putting him back out. And talk to him.

  8. Blazon, the problem is attributing a lack of effort to Touki when he doesn’t perform well. We have no basis for that conclusion and it is highly unlikely that caring is the issue. I’m sure he cares deeply and wishes to succeed. The problem is, success at the big league level is very difficult, even with stuff as good as Touki’s.

  9. TFloyd…

    When we were kids how much caring effort did we sometimes put in to an ordered chore we knew we usually did badly i.e. shampooing the cat. When things started to go wrong and the first scratches started to bleed we didn’t care about much other than getting it over with.

    Occasionally though things went well…the cat had never looked sleeker and thanked us, we glowed.. That’s Touki for me right now. If you, as you surely will, disagree how do you explain the difference in how he threw the ball in his Innings one and two?

    Love the guy, really do. They say he is charming and very bright. Physician, heal thyself. Tough love.

  10. Touki has never been outwardly emotional so it can easily look like lack of caring. I truly think he just has a hard time repeating his mechanics and can’t grip the baseball like he used to be able to because of the surface of the ball. Many pitchers that are curveball first guys are having problems with the new ball.

  11. Something is different for sure. Case in point, Freddie Freeman. He’s on pace for 44 homers. He’s a hell of a hitter but he’s not a 40+ homer guy.

  12. Rather than internet-psychic games about Touki’s “caring,” perhaps the more direct line of inquiry might be “does his motion and mechanics stop fooling people once they’ve seen him for a couple of at bats?”

  13. Freddie’s potentially a case for the juiced ball. His exit velo is up 2 MPH, which is not insignificant. His launch angle is no higher than it was last year and second lowest of his career. But he went from 44 doubles and 23 HRs last year to 18 doubles and 20 HRs this year. So doubles last year have become home runs this year. How? His barrel percentage has almost doubled, but that’s an indication of how many times he’s hit a ball that is a high degree of likelihood of being a hit based on exit velo and launch angle. Is he just straight up hitting the ball harder, or is the ball just coming off the bat a little easier because it’s a different ball?

  14. Duvall could contribute at the big league level, ideally as a platoon partner with Markakis. But there is no room: Joyce has contributed too well to be let go, and in any event Ender will be the 4th outfielder and defensive replacement when he’s ready.
    I assume Duvall has value as a trade chip (more than he did when this season started).

  15. Did anyone watch Camargo last night? Even the announcers pointed out he didn’t move an inch on the first ground ball hit in his general vicinity. Both of his ABs looked really painful – terrible swings. I don’t really want to say it but he had that “You’re putting me in in garbage time? Really?” look in every part of his body language. I feel bad for him that he was so good last year and set aside this year, but that performance was embarrassing.

  16. @19–I don’t know about Camargo, Roger, because I had turned it off long before then. But I’m impressed with your dedication to still be watching. You’ve been dealt a bad hand with these Tuesday games, but you’ve done your duty and manned your post.

  17. Given Riley’s call-up and Culberson and Joyce’s strong performances, it would make sense to swap Camargo and Duvall. Sucks for Johan. Alternatively, we could trade on of them.

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