Nats 13, Braves 4

Ya know, it didn’t even look at that close.

Kyle Wright was actually not bad in the first two innings, looking very efficient with only 30 pitches through 2, I believe. I thought as the third inning started that Wright might be able to get into the 6th inning if he could continue his pace. I was wrong: single, strike out, triple, double, walk, strike out, walk, walk, and double. Paul Byrd speculated on the broadcast that Wright was trying to be too careful as evidence by Wright finishing late and delivering all of his fastballs to the left-hand batter’s box during that walk, walk, double routine. Young pitchers require patience, sadly.

Stephen Strasburg actually took around 30 pitches to get through the first, but then he settled down. And more importantly, the lopsided score gave them an opportunity to avoid having their bullpen become a factor.

On a day where you give up 13 runs, it’s fair to talk about the pitching. Between Mike Foltynewicz, Kevin Gausman, Touki Toussaint, Bryse Wilson, and Kyle Wright, you’d have expected better production going into the season. Instead, they’ve given up 133 earned runs in 193 2/3 innings. That’s a 6.18 ERA from your staff ace last year, someone you’d hoped to be a third starter, and three starting pitching prospects of varying pedigree but all expected to be better. It’s a testament to the offense, Mike Soroka, Dallas Keuchel, Julio Teheran, Luke Jackson, Sean Newcomb, and other parts of the pen that we’re where we are.

They can play roster gymnastics to move guys around. Folty will probably be ready to come back in no worse than another start at Gwinnett. Kevin Gausman is going to start Sunday, and according to Peanut, he’ll be mostly a two pitch pitcher. Let’s see how that goes. But they have a hard deadline of July 31st this year to make an acquisition. No more can you dip your toe in the water through July 31st, and still have time to do something into August. Teams have to be swift and decisive nowadays, and in some ways, that puts some pressure on the Braves to decide what exactly to do. Obviously you need some sort of acquisition. But to what extent? Who stays, and who goes?

In the meantime, they come back for the Nats tonight at 7:20 EST with Julio Teheran vs. Patrick Corbin.

82 thoughts on “Nats 13, Braves 4”

  1. Wright and Touki down. Huascar Ynoa and Patrick Weigel up.

    Weigel’s been pretty good in the hitter friendly International League. He’s been primary a starter, so it’ll be interesting to see how he does in relief.

    We know about Ynoa.

    Since June 9th, Touki had an ERA of 7.80. That ain’t gon’ work.

  2. Dangit, you’re right. I apologize.

    Parsons has been pretty good, too, since getting optioned. He’s given up 4 ER in 12.1 IP in July after giving up 6 in 16.1 IP in June. He was unhittable in May: 0 ER in 12.2 IP. He hasn’t been on the ML roster since May 20th.

  3. The TINSTAAPP rule has definitely applied this year. Soroka and Fried have outpitched expectations, but outside of those 2, most of our other pitching prospects have really let us down- both at the minor league and major league level.

  4. Maybe it’s hard to say this since we’re almost 100 games into the season, but there’s absolutely time left for a lot of these guys to make adjustments and still end up with a great season.

    Kyle Wright is 23 and has been a professional pitcher for less than 2 years. He’s made 38 starts above A ball. He’s done that while having 3 different stints on the major league roster, one of which he spent a week on the roster and didn’t pitch. If Folty and Gausman had done their jobs (and O’Day, Venters, Biddle, Vizzy, etc. etc. etc.), Wright would be left in AAA to continue to work on his future. He has a 4.86 ERA at AAA.

    Bryse Wilson is 21 years old, and he has an even less impressive pedigree than Wright. He has even less starts above A-ball than Wright. He’s another guy that should be working in AAA uninterrupted. I could be here 2 years from now, a full 60 starts from now, and I would still say that Wilson should be left alone.

    Touki Toussaint has, you guessed it, even less starts above A-ball than Wilson, let alone Wright. He’s 23, a year younger than Max Fried, and he’s another guy that still should have time.

    Sean Newcomb is 26 years old. He had a 3.90 ERA last year as a starter. I mean, is he a failure even without the relief prowess? I don’t think so.

    Folty and Gausman are really the key issues here, but they’re not prospects. They’re not part of the TINSTAAP equation. Folty has made 107 starts in the big leagues, and somehow he is worse after an All-Star season, at the age of 27, than he was when he was a 23-year old rookie. That’s not TINSTAAP; that’s “Sh*t Happens”. Gausman has even more starts, is even older, and is even worse than he was when he was an even younger rookie. WTF?

    For me, this run of performance doesn’t disparage the entity known as a pitching prospect; it makes what Mike Soroka is doing more impressive. He’s 20 years old. Wright, Wilson, Touki, Allard, Gohara, etc., they’re all older than him, and I’m not one bit frustrated with any of those other names. That just puts Soroka on his own level.

    And like I said, this stuff changes, and there’s 60 games left for things to get better. We were talking about Folty-to-the-pen, then Folty-as-ace, then Folty-at-Gwinnett. We can go right back to Folty-as-ace. Gausman can get right back to his 4.27 career ERA in 150 starts. And then we’re not worried about what Bryse Wilson is doing.

  5. Rob, I agree fully. With all the talk about our pitchers though, I was expecting more. I’m pleasantly surprised that we’ve done so well even though our starting pitching has been disappointing. My point is, overall it has been a down year for Atlanta pitching. Let’s hope the rest of this year and the years ahead are huge up years.

  6. Pure and simple, MLB has messed with the baseballs again. They have reduced the height of the seams and smoothed the baseball more. There’s nothing WTF about certain pitchers being worse than ever, and I think it also explains the bad minor league stints for prospects who were also knocking on the door of joining the big league rotation this year.

    Yeah, “shit happens” but there’s no WTF about it. They [MLB] know exactly what’s up.

  7. I think if you went into the season saying, “What will we get from Soroka, Fried, Touki, Wilson, and Wright?” You’d probably say, “Two of them will be really good, three will probably struggle.” The “TINSTAAP Truthers” would have said, “One might be decent, four will be terrible.” They’ve been wrong, bigly.

  8. Not ideal.

  9. Thanks, Rob. It was a pleasure to meet the missus. She must be one hell of a woman ’cause you’re a helluva guy, gator or not.

    Scott Coleman has a good read re AA and the trade deadline on Talking Chop, if interested.

    Go Braves!

  10. Scherzer is going to miss his start this weekend for a cortisone shot. That’s a break for us.

  11. A lot of would be NL sellers as-of-last-month are now solidly in the playoff picture. The Giants are one of hottest teams in baseball.

    If it’s a seller’s market are we going to be ok getting some marginal pitching help and giving up top-line prospect? I think I’d rather do nothing.

  12. One problem with FP and the gNats broadcast team is that they are excessive “homers” – more so than any other broadcasters I’ve heard. They are very annoying. I swear if I hear any more about how super-human Strasburg is or was last night, I’m going the throw my shoe through the TV. Or anything about dancing in the dugout.

    The good Julio is pitching so far. Just wish Ozzie hadn’t left three ducks out there.

    @10 Pretty ironic. Those crusty old veterans keep hitting when the kids go cold.

  13. Yes, the session with Mills was fantastic. It even made me like Joe S for a while.

  14. With the Giants winning and pulling back from the market and the Pads losing to everyone since the Braves’ sweep, maybe it’s time to look at Yates as a trade target. Stroman/Giles is starting to look better. Still not convinced about Boyd but Greene looks good.

  15. I really do admire Markakis. His consistency over time is pretty remarkable. But I do get tired of the announcers saying that it doesn’t matter that a lefty is on the mound.

    Truth is, Nick is a much inferior hitter versus southpaws. Why don’t they give Camargo a start against someone like Corbin?

  16. Julio is looking great tonight. I know he doesn’t have the velocity he once had, but I think those who call him a junk ball pitcher are seriously mistaken.

  17. Playing some small ball tonight. Been waiting to see this out of the Braves when they’re not slugging 3-run HRs.

  18. One thing Julio always needs is a friendly ump. The calls have been generous (on both sides) tonight.

  19. Pull Julio for Blevins? That’s a top notch bullpen move Snit. Edit- that’s why he is the manager and I am sitting in Michigan

  20. I cheer for Luke because of the jersey on the torso and because he needs all the help he can get … such as Soto bunting.

    That said, he is not a closer.

  21. What a shame. After such a great performance by everyone up to that point. Just a shame.

    Should’ve stuck with the slider to a young guy.

    Three runs is almost never enough.

  22. 17-24 in saves situations doesn’t get it done. Convert half of those we have a double digit lead

  23. I jinxed us coming on here and loving on Jackson.

    That borderline strike call that went against him really hurt. He needs to get strikes out of his slider since, as we saw, his fastball is not elite.

  24. Ronald, please end our misery and send us home happy.

    Good for Luke for cleaning up for the third out, but I can’t stomach the idea of him closing for us in the playoffs.

  25. Well, at least now we know:

    This at least provides some clarity, if true. Get well soon and back on the mound, big guy.

  26. @57 And everyone. Please take note that while Luke has blown some saves, as a team, the Braves have not blown any/many more saves than any other +.500 team. At least in the National League. The other teams just spread their blown saves around more. Don’t read too much into it. And, after all, we did win this game blown save notwithstanding.

  27. @62 That means they could call up Gohara and put him on the 60 day IL and have another spot on the 40-man roster to play with.

  28. Good perspective, Roger, that needed said.

    The depth of Robles’ HR blew me away. He seems slight.

    Acuna is improving, significantly, before our very eyes. His always good plate discipline is now razor sharp. And so he is making more contact, tonight he was a terror.

  29. @72 There’s no “like” button so I’ll do it here. *like*

    Let’s not forget what the General means to the bullpen. He is the guy that’s making everyone else look better right now.

  30. @73

    Right. Needs a serious shave though around, under and within the neck jowels unless he is pursuing the bedraggled look to match Luke’s hair.

    His last pitch was perfect, under all kinds of pressure.

    A big hand for Julio, please, his best of the season in a very important game, after last night’s fiasco. Inspirational for the rest of us to watch.

  31. Culberson is leading the team in ERA with 0.00 in 2 innings pitched. Maybe he should be our closer. (-;

  32. Luke has more than earned a spot in the pen, but I just don’t see him as a closer. The Braves need an upgrade there.

    Big win tonight though! Way to go JD!

  33. I will say an elite reliever/closer-type is the most important July acquisition Anthopoulos can make.

  34. Re elite closer…

    …there’s an assumption in the air around here that were we to find, and pay for, such a one he would in fact be just perfect. No he wouldn’t.

    Going into the post season last year there were two such closers whose names were hallowed – Kimbrel/Hader. Hader was mighty impressive, The Sox ended up losing confidence in Kimbrel and not using him in the crunch.

    Now it’s Hader who’s had a patchy year. When you consider the cost involved as a percentage of what we might have to play with, no deal thank you. Jackson i believe cost a dollar someone said – he’s worth a million or two to us, proven. We already have him plus an excellent back up team when all are fit.

    Strengthen the back up team if you insist. Spend what’s over on Alfaro. Power and speed behind the plate. The odd pass ball of course but, hey, two out of three. NOONE’S PERFECT!

  35. 57 – It should be pointed out that the Braves went on to win 3 of the 7 games in which Luke blew a save. I agree it’s not ideal, but he hasn’t cost us as much as many of us think.

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