Braves 7, Nationals 1

The greatest trick Kevin Gausman ever pulled was convincing the Nationals of a pitch that didn’t exist.

After days of talk about how Gausman was ready to add his curveball and cutter back into his inventory, he shut down the Nationals on the same old 4 seamer and splitter he’s used all season. Gausman went 7+, allowing 5 hits, while walking none and striking out 8. Two of the hits came leading off the top of the 8th; one scored after his subsequent departure.

The Braves got all they needed early, as Nick Markakis drove in the first 2 runs with a 2 out single in the 1st. I’m in the camp that wants to see Johan Camargo get more at-bats, but it’s hard to see what more we could ask from Nick, who came in at .290/.363/.440.

The Braves could not take further advantage of spot starter Joe Ross, however, until Josh Donaldson hit a solo home run in the 6th. In the 7th, off Javy Guerra, Ronald Acuna Jr. scored from first on a Freddie Freeman double, smartly deking the Nationals into throwing home by taking a dive coming around 3rd. This allowed Freddie to cruise into 3rd, where he scored on a Donaldson single. Acuna removed all doubt with a 2 run homer in the 8th.

Anthony Swarzak and Josh Tomlin finished up. You can see all the details from here.

The Braves split the series, put 4 more games with the Nationals behind them, and maintain their 6.5 game lead. Kansas City comes to town Tuesday at 7:20 for the first of a 2 game series; Dallas Keuchel vs. Danny Duffy scheduled. Natspos delenda est.

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.

34 thoughts on “Braves 7, Nationals 1”

  1. Rusty S…well before the midnight hour, thank you.

    A happy game you might say. Dansby apart our guys all had a fun night and a productive one. Gaus was unbelievable – when did we last see a start of that quality and efficiency, tell me please.

    The very first pitch though could have been catastrophe as the French say. We’d not got used to those damn mikes yet so it sounded like a 600 footer. Great to see Ender back – there must be no gap between him and Pache when they dosey-do.. We saw tonight exactly why.

  2. Turner/Eaton/Rendon/Soto…0 for 16, 0 H.

    I have not been this excited for a long time.

    Ender reminded me of the word ‘grace’.

    Acuna is pure Hollywood – in a charming and unaffected way. How we going keep him down on the farm? Extensions I guess

  3. Mr Gausman
    send me a dream
    fastballs that drop then go in between
    make them dip twice and then twist them over
    then tell that pasty his at bat is over
    Mr. Gausman
    we’ve been so alone
    don’t have an ace that we can call our own
    so please cheer up our nervous scene
    Mr. Gausman, is there a Gene?

  4. Well, if Gausman has a bad outing next time out, you can say, “And just like that, he’s gone.”

  5. Great job, Rusty, especially the opening.
    Do y’all think the talk of the secondary pitches was all subterfuge, or did Gausman plan to use them if necessary, and it turned out he didn’t need them?

  6. Ok, I could be wrong, but I swear I thought I read a Bowman or DOB tweet last week that Gausman was actually going to be a two-pitch pitcher. I can’t find the tweet, but I’m almost certain I read that.

    I also am wrong a lot.

  7. Also, there’s a lot of heat on Flowers’ pitch-calling and a lot of praise for McCann’s. Has anybody written anything on this subject out in the blogosphere?

  8. @10 I think it’s really the latter, but it doesn’t hurt if they *think* it’s the former. Also reading this morning that there were some cutters mixed in; they just didn’t register.

  9. Getting some substantial innings out of Gausman/Folty/Newk (and Keuchel) would be an enormous boon down the stretch for a team that’s basically been Grizzled Gritty Gutty Veteran Julio Teheran + Soroka and Fried all year.

    Fun fact: Soroka and Fried have 20 wins between them this season; Julio is the only other starter with 5. In fact, as best as I can tell the entire cast of non-Soroka/Fried pitchers has registered 14 wins when starting games – Julio 5, Gausman 3, Keuchel 3, Folty 2, Wilson 1. Newk has some Ws but they were all earned in relief.

    Basically, this team is going through some real growing pains on the pitching side – not at all unexpected in general given the nature of pitching but in this case the result of blending together some massive jumps in production (Soroka/Fried/Jackson) with some real disappointments (Folty/Newk/Gaus). I’m optimistic that the Braves are pretty well positioned going forward – they have a lot of good arms in the system and with proper planning should be able to keep the young guns reasonably fresh for crunch time. It feels like with all the good talent the Braves have in their system we’ll get at least 1 or 2 surprise arms contributing too once rosters expand. My guess is that AA is very likely to make a couple trades to improve the bullpen but I wouldn’t expect we will pick up someone like Stroman/Minor/Bumgarner.

  10. This is a troubling Tweet:

    Mark Bowman3h
    Gausman’s impressive return gives the Braves reason to feel better about their internal rotation options

  11. @16

    Snit had a quote during the press confab last night, something to the effect of it being like making a trade if Gausman continues to pitch like that, which also caused me to shake my head. Though he also said he wouldn’t be starting Camargo and then proceeded to start him for like a week straight, so I don’t know if Snit necessarily always speaks for the organization on these extemporaneous postgame remarks.

  12. @16 It’s just leverage propaganda. Everyone knows the Braves have one need in the rotation: dominant veteran starter.

    It’s more likely than not that they won’t add a starter at the deadline, though, because what the Braves need is hard to come by and probably not available.

  13. @19 Is that mere coincidence or is my off-the-radar trade target getting secretly scouted by the Braves brass today?

  14. @18, yep, exactly. It’s exactly what you have to say in Snit’s position: it gives the organization greater leverage in trade talks, by making the Braves seem less desperate, and it also strokes the ego of your player, which is about 90% of Snit’s day job.

    The Braves know what they need. Everyone in baseball knows what they need. But the Braves can still try to persuade people that they don’t believe they’re as hard up as they actually are.

  15. @19

    ‘The same old tingle that i feel inside
    When that elevator starts its ride
    Down and down i go,
    round and round i go
    Like a leaf that’s caught in the tide.’

  16. Mark Reynolds DFA’d yesterday by the Rockies. That guy would always kill us, even last year, but apparently they’ve run out of patience with him, for good reason from their perspective.

    I’m not knocking good guys but…
    when was the last time you saw Camargo/Culbertson/Joyce hit a ball hard?

    Reynolds either misses completely, the norm, or hits the hell out of it. He does not hit pretty, high flies short of the track. He is three HRs short of 300.

  17. Reynolds must never be put in a position where he has to play defense, strictly PH. You are so right to bring up Duval – negotiations are ongoing I suspect for the pen. Forward!

  18. 11-I read the same thing and thought it had to be a misprint since I had also seen articles about Gausman working on new pitches. Can’t recall where I saw it but surely it was Twitter, so you aren’t crazy.

  19. @11, 26 – DOB:

    “He threw some effective cutters last night but didn’t use the curveball he worked on during minor league rehab stint, basically because they were getting good results without it.”

  20. What Rob and I were referring to was a quote from before the game saying that Gausman was going to come back as a two-pitch pitcher.

  21. I read that, too, and the same day read that he added two pitches. I think whoever broke the news of him becoming to be a two-pitch pitcher going forward probably, simply misunderstood.

  22. Hello guys and gals!

    Was vacationing with the fam and was hard to get to the computer for a span of days. I’ll be putting up a post later today!

  23. Ryan C.,

    It better be about ordering at the Varsity. If not, then we need that from Jonathan F. on Thursday.

    Real info, not fake news.

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