Well, this one didn’t start the way you’d have expected. Mike Soroka didn’t have his best stuff in the first, and six singles led to 4 runs against him to start the game. It’s not completely out of nowhere; in 34 IP in June, Soroka had a mere mortal 3.71 ERA. Here’s also doing something he’s never done before, for what that’s worth. But he recovered, keeping them scoreless the next 3 innings before parting in the 5th with a high pitch count and runners on.
But you’ve heard the story before, and it will probably continue to be true, that this offense can overcome a poor starting pitching performance almost every night. The entire infield went yard tonight, something the broadcast said hadn’t been done since at least the Braves came to Atlanta. The teams actually matched each other in hits, but while the Phils only had a double by Rhys Hoskins and a homer by The Great Sean Rodriguez, the Braves had 5 doubles and 5 home runs. You come at the king, you best not miss.
But how about Dansby Swanson? In some respects, yesterday was not a great day for him as he passed his home run limit for the year. Starting yesterday, the man is operating out of compliance. But in other respects, it was actually a really good day with a double and two home runs. I’m not sure there was much of an expectation that he’d hit for this much power, but he’s through half the season with a .500 slugging percentage. And it’s not just home run power; he’s on pace to hit about 15-20 more doubles than he did last year as well. He’s also on pace for more walks than last year as well.
We have the Fish for 3 games with Teheran, Fried, and Keuchel going for us. We also have a 9-man pen and one of the best offenses in baseball. Let’s sweep those clowns.
No guarantees as to result, of course, but unless Camargo starts, only our catcher (McCann or Flowers) and Markakis will have a lower OPS than their highest position player (Garrett Cooper.) All but the catcher and Markakis also have more homers than Brian Anderson, their leader at 11. The Braves have a team OPS, including pitchers, of 802. Among teams in which the pitcher routinely hits, only the cursed Dodgers are higher, at 819.
Great recap, Fearless Leader. However, you may have undersold Sean Rodriguez’s magnificence.
The offense is unreal. Every night is someone different, and some nights it is 6 different people. The depth of talent in the lineup and on the bench is fun to watch. A couple of years ago that game would have been over after the top of the first. Not anymore…
Well that was fun. And hot. Hot fun.
Alright, sometimes I just can’t decide if I’m being either a homer or a pessimist when I’m trying to predict Julio’s performance, which tells me all I need to know about how unpredictable he is. What do you got? I’ve got 5 IP, 2 ER, 6 K, 3 H, 2 BB.
Dansby is everything Stu said he was.
I would have thought even Stu didn’t think Dansbo would have this much power, but he had 15 HRs in 281 ABs his JR year at Vandy.
It’s probably just that his power was so late to show as he came through the system so quickly. .402 SLG at AA. .501 at A+ but it guided by 12 2B and 1 HR. But once he figures it out, his power goes off: .475 SLG his SO year, .623 his JR year.
Re: Dansby. I think the other factor is the wrist injury really sapped his power last yr more than we realized. Really five players on track for 30+homers once you adjust the playing time for the late start Riley got. If he just gets regular at bats the rest of the way he should easily clear 30 also. Albies could very well make it six since he has 14 now and seems to be having a power surge as his LH swing is much improved. The catcher position is on track for 27. And if you add the homers that Culberson/Camargo/Joyce have hit as OF starters along with Markakis 8 roundtrippers you really could say we have all eight line up spots on track for 20+ homers this year. As many have said the depth of this lineup is incredible.
Dansby – I wonder how much Chipper has to do with his performance this year.
@9 It seems like he deserves a ton of credit for it. Dansby’s ability to lay off the slider outside the strike zone has forced pitchers to come over the plate with fastballs that he is raking against
I attribute Dansby’s success to Mallory Pugh.
@9 – I don’t want to take anything away from Chipper, but my guess is his influence could be fairly small. It’s a feel good story to make it sound like an ex ballplayer had a huge impact, but the reality is players do a lot of work over the offseason and get a lot of coaching from many sources. I have a feeling that Chipper was one of the many who had some impact, but it’s hard to discern which coaching session or if any coaching session had the most tangible results.
I came home to write a post for Dansby as our MVP at this half way point of the season and saw several had effectively beaten me to it.
Freddie to his own side, it’s been no contest really as Dansby’s new wrist has freed him from the constraints of last year. It seems no one barrels the ball as often as he, hits it really hard to all fields…CONSISTENTLY.
The number one draft pick, once much lambasted here and elsewhere, is finally wearing his true colors.. A much improved fielder-particularly on plays around the bag – his own base running can be electrifying, lovely to watch. Around his own teammates he’s a leader, always the first to greet a hero on his return to the dugout.
And that hair, that smile, how did we not lose him to Hollywood!
This will be the last year he’s not an All Star.
So our MVP Dansby Swanson. Extend!
I am intrigued by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.
Indeed the Dansby love thread. That’s what a double and two homers gets ya.
@14 A very obscure and underrated Simpsons quote?
No, that’s what a half season of outstanding effort and leadership get you.
Effort? What makes you think his effort level is any different than last year (or even less!), rather than simply a difference in results? Leadership? Of what sort? Greeting players? Bah.
Are you quietly confident about the American Team going into Sunday’s final against the Dutch?
And is the famous Ms. Rapinoe likely to be fit enough to start? Hate to see her on the sidelines.
Had a good conversation going about Braves baseball. Can’t we keep it on track? So many exciting things going on with this club there’s plenty to talk about instead of getting sidetracked on unrelated sports and topics
There would seem to be enough time and white space for all to share. A new topic introduced need have no effect on the momentum of others already running. As with mine it was a side note, not intended to subvert the status quo.
This game on Sunday is not small potatoes, it’s the Final of the World Cup and your American Ladies are going for their fourth win, unprecedented.
One rider to the question of space above. Should the mood take him Sam is quite likely to come back with a response that could run a full two pages c/with half tones, graphs and lengthy quotes. Mercy be!
For the rest of the year, who of the following (if any) do you think will get at least 5 starts in the second half?
A) Mike Foltynewicz
B) Kevin Gausman
C) Bryse Wilson
D) Sean Newcomb
E) Touki Toussaint
F) Kyle Wright
G) Ian Anderson
I fear Folty is broken somehow. Whereas Gausman might merely have needed some rest and rehab for his plantar fasciitis and will be back giving us quality starts again in a month. Until he does come back it seems Wilson will get a few more chances so I could see both of them meeting your criteria
Other. Fried. Soroka, Keuchel,and Teheran. Actually, that covers about 60 of the remaining games. Hard to see anyone other than Gausman getting more than half the leftovers.
Dansby is apparently out tonight and probably tomorrow with a quad injury. Bummer. It was probably all the love being showered on him this thread.
Smoke. And. Mirrors.
Just enough s&m.
I don’t care how well Ozzie was swinging it, not bunting there with your 2 hitter is beyond stupid
Feel sorry for the fans who bought tickets to this one. No score and now an extensive rain delay.
Venters finally helping the Braves in 2019 by melting down against the Royals tonight for the Nationals.
Lordy, that last out just about gave me a heart attack.
Worth the wait!
McCann!!!!! I love all the ways this team can win games.
Absolutely amazing. Seems like games like this are the ones where you get to see what the team’s made of. The starting pitching and the bullpen didn’t crack. And the offense finally did what it does. Brian McCann… man, what a year that guy’s having. Unbelievable.
And so to bed… our l/o double beat their l/o double…some luck, a good deal of class though.
Four of the nine wins over Miami this year (including the last three) have been by one run, including two walk-offs, so some regression against them is inevitable, but there is something to this team’s resourcefulness, especially late.
Thank you for pulling that one out. I was forced to retire before play resumed. We elderly gentlemen need our rest.
Recapped. (By another old fart who fell asleep before the rain ended.)