The Story of Julio, the Prodigal Sons, and The Awful Endgame: Braves 11 – gNats 8

Didn’t get home from the game tonight until after midnight so I’m going to have to make this short and sweet. Tuesday was a wonderful night for me as I got to go to the game and watch all the despondent gNats fans leaving the game at various intervals until, really, only Braves fans remained. The night was even better because I missed the bottom of the 9th. I wish I had missed the bottom of the 8th, too.

The story begins (and should have ended) with Julio Teheran and his magnificent performance. He went 6.2 innings and the only trouble he had was three singles in a row in the 6th. During the first five, he was lights out and ripped the soul right out of all the gNats (except possibly Kendrick). Even in the 6th, part of the damage was an IF single that Camargo nearly got a force out on at 2B which would have short circuited the rally. Julio tired in the 7th and gave up a solo shot to Turner, but this Julio I would trust with a playoff game.

That might have been enough for one night, but the Prodigal Sons – Ender and Adam – left their mark on this game by getting 7 of the Braves’ 15 hits. It was glorious to behold and left me with the feeling that we do not need any position player help. What was even better was that Ender had 2 doubles and SB and Duvall crushed 2 solo shots – no cheapies in this crowd.

Of course, this leaves one last part of the story which I wish I didn’t have to tell – the Awful Endgame. The gNats starter, Erick Fedde, was a goner from the first pitch. He was all over the place with 20 pitches in the first. It was inevitable that the Braves would eventually blast him out and he would last no more than 4 innings. By the end of the 6th, the Braves led 9-1. At the end of the 7th it was 11-2.

Then came the parade of ineffective relievers – Minter, Swarzak, Jackson.  The gNats scored 6 runs in the 8th and 9th.  The game actually looked like the result was not a foregone conclusion for a brief moment. Whoever said “you can’t beat me with 10 runs” was right but the guys really tried hard tonight. I don’t think we should expect great things from Swarzak any more. His brief stint of shoulder stiffness seems to have turned him back into Mariners Swarzak instead of 2017 Mets Swarzak. He may be done. Minter still can’t throw strikes, but he managed to avoid the Grybo with Julio. Luke couldn’t pull off one inning without giving up a HR and three runs before ending the game.

I thought one or two relievers might do the trick but now I’m not so sure. One thing we must have is a top of the line shutdown reliever.  Whether we use him as a closer or just in the highest leverage situation is not a consideration. Swarzak proved before just how beneficial that could be.

Tomorrow is a day game and a chance to win the series and pull even for the year. A good chance with Soroka on the mound. In the meantime, I’ll sleep well with a successful, while also worrisome, Tuesday night. I hope we have turned the Tuesday worm and given Tuesday its mojo back.

42 thoughts on “The Story of Julio, the Prodigal Sons, and The Awful Endgame: Braves 11 – gNats 8”

  1. Thanks for the great recap, Roger.

    Re. Allard, there are probably eight guys ahead of him. He would have never been a part of the Braves rotation. Great to get someone for the pen who throws strikes at the very least.
    I don’t like Coldplay.

  2. Anyone concerned about the alarming number of runs this team gives up? Eight tonight, six yesterday, nine two days ago, seven the day before that…

    They’ve given up 522 runs this year, more than the Mets (516) and almost as many as the Phillies (527). The Nationals are still in the 400s.

  3. I have been torn over whether to make a Coldplay reference or not, particularly since Chip made a couple last night. But timo made one, so I’ll just mention that trading for Martin makes it incredibly unlikely that we’ll be able to sign Goop Paltrow on a free agent deal next year.

  4. Bravo, Roger.

    The General has earned another chance, assuming he is not physically ailing – just remember how good he was. Luke too of course, well earned. We need another ten run lead to play with. Julio, agree, magnifico, proud of him.

    Kolby, we hardly knew ya’.

    A poignant moment. Duvall returning to a raucous dugout welcome after a homer. Acuna, wistful, seated, face frozen in a corner.

  5. The best bit about today – we don’t have long to wait.

    Nats. I like Howie Kendrick. He and Freddie make a nice social, smiling pairing.

    Can’t stand TT, RH, JTRM – to the tumbril with them while our wives knit.

  6. I’m not disappointed in the Martin trade, but I am a little stunned that Allard’s value has fallen to where it’s equivalent to two months of a solid reliever. Maybe I shouldn’t be…?

    Still, I’m pleased the Braves made a move to shore up the bullpen. A proven closer would still be magnificent!

  7. I read this as AA is working on another deal with Texas:

    “We asked about him,” Anthopoulos said of how talks were instigated some time ago. “Our goal is to try to keep things quiet; it’s easier to operate that way and easier to get deals done. I’m obviously really grateful to the Rangers and our front office for keeping it quiet. It’s something that we’ve been working on for a while, and ultimately we were getting to the point where we were also working on other things, and you don’t want to leave everything to the last day, so we decided to push the deal across the finish line tonight.”

  8. @6 I was on the 1B side and couldn’t see into the dugouts. I hope Acuna was not pouting or anything. He seems to be in another one of his brief funks (he even got caught stealing). It didn’t show in the field. Having him in right, behind Ozzie, seems to be good for them. They keep up the banter in the field.

    Martinez made the oddest move in the 7th. After Turner’s HR, with a man on 1st down 11-2, he took out Rendon. So when the gNats rallied, the big bopper was not available. I have to wonder how much that hurt their rally. I can understand giving Freddie a blow with a 9 run lead (and a day game the next day) but not Rendon when you need to rally.

    Oh, and it felt like Hotlanta out there last night. 95 when we got to the ballpark and only felt better when the sun went down and the breeze picked up.

  9. Adam Duvall
    all that waiting on call yet a mighty ad val
    power on tap, as required
    think of all the turkeys we would otherwise have hired.

    It was also encouraging, early in the game, to see his speed across left field to the side wall to make a grab. No fill in he.

  10. I hope Riley gets sent to the minors for a few weeks to try to straighten things out. Can you imagine our hitting in the playoffs if we get Riley, Acuna, Duvall, and Ender hitting well? (with Riley at DH).

  11. Acuna will be fine. Seriously, he’ll be fine. He’s streaky like a lot of young guys. I’m a little more worried about Albies, whose aggressive approach is a touch too context-neutral for my liking — sometimes I wish he’d just put the bat on his shoulders and dare the pitcher to throw a strike. But the key to our offense, like I’ve been saying for weeks, is Donaldson — when that guy’s going, the lineup’s painfully deep. And when he’s not, it starts looking awful thin after Freddie.

  12. I am actually quite impressed with Acuna this year, he is doing basically the same as last year which is impressive. Soto too, no real sophomore slump and I find that amazing given how young they are.

  13. Nice that the Reds pick up Bauer just in time for our series and the Mets (who we play 9 more times) added Stroman and may not subtract anyone.

  14. Sad ending for Allard. Can we have the pick back and take Walker Buehler instead?

  15. Also, as Roger noted, Martin was unavailable Sunday due to back stiffness. Not sure if that was an actual ailment or a we are about to trade this guy let’s hold him out kind of thing.

  16. Congrats, Roger on the Tuesday victory—and props to Cliff for the atoning sacrifice of a Monday win.

  17. After having a night to think about the Chris Martin trade, I don’t think it is a great one. I like getting Martin, but Allard just seems like a bit of a steep price for 2 months of Martin. I feel like Texas did the Braves a solid here, but it’s not like they weren’t rewarded some. They allowed the Braves deal Allard for more than basically nothing while other teams evidently have sneered as our organization runs short of 40-man spots.

    I get the feeling that this is one of the bigger reasons why we’re not getting more trades done. Teams smell blood on the 40-man.

  18. @14

    Alex, could you please define context-neutral in the baseball arena in general, Ozzie in particular.

  19. Meanwhile Julio is Top 10 in NL starting pitchers’ ERA and Top 20 in WAR.

    @5 Sorry, JonathanF, it was too obvious, I know.

  20. @22 Julio was my pick to return to form. I’m only afraid I may have fallen off that bandwagon a little earlier this year!

  21. Blazon, Not to put words in Alex’s mouth, but I think what he means by “context-neutral” is Ozzie seems to have pretty much the same at bat regardless of whatever other factors might normally come into play. Is the pitcher having a hard time finding the strike zone? Do we have a man in scoring position and less than two outs? Doesn’t seem to matter to Ozzie; always the same at bat. Of course if I understand Alex’s statement wrong then I hope he corrects me.

  22. Chris Martin
    he’s already smartin’
    they’re calling me a rental, incremental
    AA assured me i’d be central, transcendental.

  23. Soroka’s from the Serengeti
    an association that makes hitters sweaty
    they fear his ostrich features
    imbued with power from wicked, mighty creatures.

  24. Soroka has had to walk a tight rope against PHI and WSH. Ever since the matchup against the Pirates back on June 12th, I’ve suspected some teams may have figured something out against him. PHI and WSH have managed BABIP’s of .563, .400, and .500 versus Soroka. It’s something to watch for.

  25. I think at this stage, the Braves have decided Allard was just organizational depth. I think it was a fair swap.

  26. Anybody thinking of Allard as any kind of a prospect is thinking about this wrong. That we got anything remotely useful for him is a plus.

  27. I was gonna wait until Roger’s recap had more exposure, but I figured I’d go ahead and put up my post on Chris Martin. New post.

  28. Re Soroka batting, 1 out, bases loaded, Acuna on Deck. Surely a bunt call would have been a higher percentage?

  29. We’re leaving a lot of runs on the field. 3 times we’ve had 2 runners in scoring position, 2 out, and failed to score.

  30. Acuan’s last out at the RF wall off a 100ish pitch was great to see.

    Is anyone else watching this game??!!

  31. so Shane Green and a 6 1/2 lead are ours. What’s it like to have to go to work on a day like this?

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