How Braves Pitchers Are Performing Each Time Through The Order (by braves14)

This discussion will cover statistics of the amount of times our starting pitchers face the opponent’s batting order during a game.  But first, a background of how starting pitchers have pitched fewer innings in recent history:

As most are aware, the style of pitching that we see today is not how it has been for most pitchers in the history of the game.  The beginnings of the shift to the radar gun era of judging pitchers started about 2003. QuesTec was a company hired by MLB for pitch tracking technology for the purpose of judging home plate umpire’s performance.  Before this happened, most home plate umpires had very large strike zones — particularly on the corners.

Greg Maddux and especially Tom Glavine were famous for using pinpoint control to find just how far off the outside corner they could go and still get a called strike.  Leo Mazzone taught his pitchers that the best pitch in the game of baseball was a fastball low and away. Many pitchers tried to keep their pitches low and hit the inside and outside corner without using the maximum effort to light up the radar gun.  The key was command and movement — not velocity — for most guys. Livan Hernandez infamously exploited Eric Gregg’s strike zone in Game 5 of the 1997 NLCS to get pitches way off the plate called strikes.

The results of QuesTec led to umpires being more aware of calling pitches off the corner balls.  In 2003, both Maddux and Glavine declined tremendously. This was partially because of age, but also it was because the pitches off the edge were no longer being called strikes.  Glavine had to reinvent the way he pitched for the Mets, and instead of living off the outside corner, he used a curveball much more frequently and pitched inside more to become unpredictable.  He was able to become a solid middle of the rotation starter but was never again the ace caliber pitcher he had been in the past. By definition the strike zone was smaller. Umpires were enforcing the rulebook strike zone more frequently.  With pitches off the plate no longer being called strikes, soft tossers who lived off the edge of the plate had to throw the ball over the plate.

The widespread use of analytics started about the same time.  Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis was published in 2003.  It was about how Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane and his staff used metrics to sign and acquire players who had skills that were undervalued by the competition.  The A’s had one of the lowest payrolls in the league but yet won over 100 games in 2002.

Other teams who did not previously use metrics other than batting average, ERA, and counting stats saw the success the A’s had and began building their own analytics departments.  They hired many graduates from Ivy League schools and other prestigious colleges.

Pitchers became more aware of pitching “up and down” to change the batter’s eye level.  And if the strike zone was going to be smaller, then pitchers were going to have to throw harder in order get more swings and misses.  Analytics departments realized that strikeouts were advantageous for pitchers because it took fielding out of the equation. At the same time, it was learned that a hitter striking out was not necessarily that much worse than any other out.  There were guys who struck out well over 100 times who were still producing big numbers. Batters stopped cutting down on their swings with 2 strikes without the fear of being stagmatized for striking out a lot. Pitchers who could throw really hard became more emphasized in scouting. 

Charlie Morton has had a late career emergence to stardom because of this change in philosophy.  For most of his career, Morton was an ordinary sinkerball pitcher who threw in the low 90’s and wasn’t much more than a back of the rotation starter.  He realized that when he maxed out he could consistently sit in the upper 90s and had a hammer curveball. In 2016, his average fastball velocity jumped by 2.3 MPH to 94.3 from 92 MPH in 4 late season starts for the Phillies while coming off an injury.  The Astros noticed this and signed him to a 2 year deal. His velocity continued to climb and he helped Houston win the World Series. This Fangraphs article from 2017 tells the story of his rise: Another change made to pitching was because of the discovery of the “times through the order” statistic.  It was found that most starting pitchers decrease in effectiveness the more times seen by a hitter during a game.  Usually by the 3rd time through the order, analytics departments discovered that a starting pitcher wasn’t any more effective than a replacement level middle reliever.

In addition, salaries in the game continued to climb.  Teams didn’t want their star pitchers getting hurt and being stuck on the shelf while being paid millions of dollars.  So why force them to pitch through fatigue when they are more likely to get hurt? Guys started being taken out of the game earlier.  Also, since pitchers were now using maximum effort to throw hard on every pitch, they were tending to get tired earlier in the game.

This brings us to our current starting rotation.  With the exception of Mike Soroka, all of our starting pitchers have struggled after the second time through the batting order.  I pulled the following splits from Baseball Reference:

Performance Against: Times Through The Order

Mike Soroka: BA OBP SLG OPS
1st PA in G as SP .216 .251 .257 .509
2nd PA in G as SP .272 .320 .361 .680
3rd PA in G as SP .211 .302 .325 .627
4th+ PA in G as SP .000 .250 .000 .250
Julio Teheran: BA OBP SLG OPS
1st PA in G as SP .197 .291 .319 .610
2nd PA in G as SP .215 .338 .333 .671
3rd PA in G as SP .268 .346 .455 .802
4th+ PA in G as SP 1.000 1.000 2.500 3.500
Dallas Keuchel: BA OBP SLG OPS
1st PA in G as SP .198 .270 .321 .591
2nd PA in G as SP .238 .315 .388 .702
3rd PA in G as SP .358 .411 .761 1.172
4th+ PA in G as SP .500 .500 .500 1.000
1st PA in G as SP .251 .301 .350 .651
2nd PA in G as SP .286 .330 .451 .781
3rd PA in G as SP .299 .353 .486 .839
4th+ PA in G as SP 1.000 1.000 2.500 3.500
Mike Foltynewicz: BA OBP SLG OPS
1st PA in G as SP .222 .280 .515 .796
2nd PA in G as SP .263 .333 .537 .870
3rd PA in G as SP .367 .418 .633 1.051

These stats clearly show that our starters in general struggle after the second time through the batting order.  Soroka has been near unhittable the first time through the batting order and very good afterwards, but is a 21 year old whose workload has to be managed.  Julio Teheran has been very good the first two times through the order and struggles afterwards — which matches the perception of him hitting a wall in the middle innings.  Keuchel has been excellent the first time through the batting order, mediocre the second time through, and the third time through he has been hit like Barry Bonds on steroids.  Fried has only been very good one time through the order — which is concerning for his long term future as a starter. Folty of course has struggled this year especially with the long ball, but his splits also get progressively worse through the game.

So how should Brian Snitker and Alex Anthopoulos use these numbers to their advantage? They can’t go to the bullpen after the 4th or 5th inning every game, can they?  I believe the answer is to either use an opener or to start piggybacking with other starters. Now, I don’t think that these strategies will be used in 2019 given that all of the relievers now have defined roles.  And these are human beings, one can’t just say “Oh, we’re going to make a radical change to how we use our pitchers in the middle of a pennant race” and expect everyone to be okay with it.

However, with the number of starting pitchers the organization has, I think there should be a serious look given in 2020 to piggybacking the starters.    Soroka, Teheran (who increasingly looks like a guy who may be brought back with his team option), Fried, and Folty are all under team control for next season.  And Bryse Wilson, Kyle Wright, and others are knocking on the door and some have had cups of coffee in the major leagues. And since these rookies all have options they could be shuttled to Gwinnett or swapped out if needed. 

With the surplus of starting pitchers, the team could feasibly use a starter for the first 2 times through the order, then go to a long reliever the next 2 times through the order before giving way to the late inning set-up man and closer.  Perhaps use a 4 man starting rotation with a long reliever paired to piggyback with each starter. Then the last 3 or 4 men in the bullpen would be the late inning set-up men and closer. This strategy would keep the amount of poor middle relievers out of the equation, while at the same time taking away the 3rd time through the order penalty.  If one of the long relievers is struggling and a starter is dynamite, then adjustments could be made to leave the starter in longer while limiting the struggling long reliever — or vice versa.

Do I think the Braves would try something like this?  I have my doubts, as they seem slower to make changes than other organizations such as the Rays, and they have a traditional type manager in Brian Snitker.  But I think it would make the pitching staff better. Go Braves!

150 thoughts on “How Braves Pitchers Are Performing Each Time Through The Order (by braves14)”

  1. I would have bet good money I wouldn’t have seen Luke Jackson get the save on August 11th, but here we are. And I don’t really care. We got 3 scoreless innings out of the pen, and that’s about as good as you can hope for. The pen gave up 7 runs on 12 hits and walks on Saturday, and it gave up 0 runs on 6 hits and walks on Sunday. Sometimes you need to just have some breaks.

  2. @2 At minimum, I love the idea of two-inning relievers with your starter only getting through the order twice. Starters goes 5, two relievers go 2 innings apiece.

    The opener is by far the best way, though, based on these numbers being consistent all across baseball. One or two innings from your opener, 5 innings where you could potentially only have the top and middle of the order see your starter one time, and then normal bullpen use thereafter. The other team’s top and middle of the order could have 4 PAs and potentially see 4 different pitchers each time. Good luck.

    I know it’s funky, and it seems “gimmicky”, but this data says that it works.

  3. Soroka has been near unhittable the first time through the batting order and very good afterwards, but is a 21 year old whose workload has to be managed.

    Does his workload have to be managed? Are they planning to manage his workload?

  4. @4 The data showing things work is probably what has put baseball on the path that it’s currently on.

    The data showing things work doesn’t necessarily make it more entertaining to watch.

  5. To be fair, that article isn’t exactly definitive, but I do think they’re at least giving fair warning that they may hold him back a little.

    We have plenty of relief pitching to limit his innings.

    And while I hope Ian Anderson gets much, much more time in the high minors as a starter and never plays the Gwinnett Shuffle, I think he gets called up in September to reinforce the pen. Plus, I think you’re going to want to stretch Anderson out a little this year. Last year was his career high in IP (119.1). Right now he’s at 120 IP. He’ll get another 4 starts in AAA. Let’s say that’s another 24. So he’ll be at, say, 144 IP at the end of the MiLB season. Let him come up and pitch an inning every 3rd game for a month and get another 10 IP, and he finishes the season at 154 IP. It wouldn’t seem like that’s that huge of a jump.

    We have plenty of pitching in the organization to keep Soroka’s innings down, and I think they should do it. Let him skip a start or two, let him pitch only 5 innings a few times, pull him at 75 pitches as often as possible, and let other guys get some innings as well.

  6. @6,8 Yeah, it’s not very definitive. Eying something isn’t exactly the same thing as actively managing it (ie. skipping his starts, giving him the hook after 5-innings, etc). Anthopolous has spoken on the topic of limiting innings for Soroka and Fried and said all year that he doesn’t believe it makes a difference as far as avoiding pitcher injuries.

    I don’t really expect them to do it, especially if a race for the division erupts down the stretch. The relief pitching point is interesting… they will need to get on a good stretch before I would feel good about giving starters the early hook.

  7. Of course the issue with looking at innings numbers is that not all innings are created equal. Soroka throwing 7 at 82 pitches shouldn’t be treated the same as a guy laboring to get through 6 on 110 pitches.

  8. Besides the obvious downside of putting runners on who might score the other negative of issuing walks is it means our starters go through their two good times through the order sooner. If our starters could go 3 up, 3 down then they can pitch 6 innings and have only been through the line up twice. For many of our pitchers I feel like this is probably a big part of the problem. See fewer hitters per inning and thus increase the number of innings you pitch before you get to the dreaded third time through the order.

  9. Obviously, I 100% agree with Dusty. :)

    I just think the whole deal of needing to manage Soroka’s innings is completely overblown. He has pitched ~140-150 innings twice coming through the minors. He has yet to even pitch 130 innings this year, so the whole worry about it seems completely irrational.

    How many more regular season starts will he get this year? I think he could get 8 more.

    How many regular season innings are too many? If they don’t manage his workload, he could pitch 177 innings (going by his average # of innings per start). So that’s about a 25 inning increase over his previous maximum workload.

    At most, he could make 4 or 5 postseason starts, so that would be another ~30 innings.

    My point: A 50-inning climb in workload seems to be what some are worried about. I don’t see other teams around the league demonstrating this amount of care with guys like Nola, Snell, Castillo, etc. Some are younger. Some are older.

    If he is going to get hurt, he is going to get hurt. It can happen this year. It can happen next year. Pitching him or not pitching him isn’t likely to change that it will happen, just when it will happen.

  10. We seem to have lost the connect between a new thread and people’s reaction/comments on it. Or was that the idea?

    Thank you Braves 14 for a prodigious amount of work.

  11. Thank you, Braves14, this is a wonderful set of research and I’m looking forward to seeing how this trend in analytics informs clubs going forward. I admit to having a bias towards the traditional model of starters/relievers, but I think a few clubs will see success with pairing “starters” and it’ll start to catch on from there.

    I think a lot of my concern is couched in the way it affects players. Relievers are treated as disposable and clubs do everything they can to avoid paying them, and I hope we don’t see an increase in the “disposable” nature of pitching all-around in the new world.

  12. One thing I find funny about this is when I was coaching little league it was common knowledge among the good coaches to always change the pitcher after once through the line up because the other team would always hit the same pitcher better on the second time through. Not every coach did that but the ones who consistently coached winning teams always did. Funny that we knew this in little league and now MLB is catching up to our strategy.

  13. I’ve not yet read the comments, just the well-framed analysis braves14 presented.

    Thank you, braves14. What a beautiful article!

    Thank you.

  14. @17, 18 The key is for the relievers to expect more money for less production on the pitching side of the market. If the big clubs want to go to a more reliever-heavy model (because it’s obviously cheaper and more fungible right now), then success will just have to cost a lot more until starting pitchers become more economical again. If the players are smart, they will figure out the cost of an inning pitched and go from there. If the big league clubs balk, then strike.

    Attendance being in decline may also help to get baseball pointed back in the right direction. Right now we’re seeing market forces drive roster construction, and so you see a huge increase in the numbers of relievers pitching as well as a huge youth surge because these things are cheaper than paying for stars.

  15. I’ll echo the comments, great work braves14.

    To give some context, the “horrible” Braves bullpen has given up this line this year .253/.342/.426 for an OPS of .768

    I understand the statistical inefficiency of looking at it this way but the starters referenced above average an OPS of:

    .631 1st time
    .740 2nd time
    .898 3rd time through the order

    So on average, you are playing the percentages to go to the bullpen the third time through the order even with a bullpen as bad as ours. There are exceptions of course. Soroka is on average better the 3rd time through than the bullpen as a whole and Teheran is actually not that far off.

    I will also point out that 3rd time through the order stats suffer a little from the fact that often times pitchers will get to face 22-23 batters meaning you are facing a 1-5 hitter more times than 6-9 hitters so you would expect some inflation due to the quality of hitter.

  16. Really, really fascinating and put together article, Braves14.

    I positively hate the idea of an “opener”, and I really hope the Braves never do it. I know we’ll very likely never see a 300 game winner again, but how many pitching records would never even be sniffed again that way? I just despise the whole concept.

    I could get on-board with the club piggy-backing some long relievers onto some of these guys, though. The stats indicate the idea has merit. They’d really need to sure up the ‘pen before going that route though.

  17. Leaguewide in the NL, starters are giving up this OPS: .254/.317/.434

    And relievers are yielding this OPS: .248/.330/.422

    Meanwhile, starters are giving up the following OPS per time they’re facing a particular batter:
    1st time: .241/.306/.405
    2nd time: .260/.324/.442
    3rd time: .266/.326/.468

    So, our relievers are not too much worse than the league. And our starters are not too far off the pace the first and second times through the order. The real problem is the third time through the order. That’s where we differentiate, in a real bad way.

  18. @23, I’m struggling to understand your visceral reaction. I think we’ll probably see another 300-game winner, but I think we’ll never see another 5000-strikeout starter.

    There are a lot of records that will never come close to being broken.

    • We may never see another hitter come even halfway to Sam Crawford’s career record of 309 — among all players who have played a game this year, the current active leader is Curtis Granderson with 95. (Jose Reyes hasn’t played at all this year, but he has 131.)

    • That’s nothing compared to complete games, of course. The all-time leader, naturally, is Cy Young, who completed 749 of his 815 career starts. The current leader is CC Sabathia, who has completed 38 games — that’s 997th place. We may never see another pitcher break into the top 900.

    So, in my view, the game always gradually changes, and this is just another potential change. Why does this change rankle you so much?

  19. One could argue that if used correctly, the opener could actually enhance the win totals of “traditional starters”. If traditional starters don’t come in until the 2nd, they no longer have to complete 5 innings to get the win. On the flip side, a 6 or 7 inning outing has a better chance to be the decisive one if you are pitching the 3-9 innings or 2-8 innings rather than 1-6 or 7. You are going to be in there when the game is ultimately decided.

  20. Yeah, and there’s a lot of ways to enhance things to whatever the league thinks is exciting to fans.

    They can reduce the requirements for a start. They can change the definition of a start to one that includes following an opener and add a new open stat for openers.

    They could add a defender with the new NL DH thing probably becoming a reality. This will give more exciting opportunities for defensive plays. Can have a DF for a designated fielder. He plays just anywhere you want to place him just like they do with the shifts. Can even stick him right in front of home plate if he’s willing to take a 112 mph probably-a-homer to the gut to stop a scoring play.

    I think tackling, personally, would really add to the game. The DH is allowed to sprint into the field of play to hit a pitcher. Likewise, that DF we added up above can knock the crap out of a hitter. This can only happen one time, of course, and then you gotta cycle out your DH/DF for another round of hitting people. Use it wisely!

    Along the lines of the new baseball they now have in official play, I think they could get into the business of adding stadium-specific effects with giant fans and mist sprayers high above the field. Could aid homers or even dampen launch-angle-fueled fly balls to keep them in the park.

    Additionally, I no longer think a one-size fits all strike zone makes sense. Some guys truly deserve their own strike zone (pitcher or hitter). Make this a reality.

    I can keep these ideas coming, as I’m sure they all beat the snot out of the stupidity that is moving the mound back and putting an actual rubber bouncy ball into regulation play.

  21. @25 It’s the fundamental difference in the way the game would be approached.

    You mentioned the complete game record, and you’re probably right in it never being broken. If a guy set his heart on it he’d have the same chance to break it as those before him had however.

  22. Braves14, thanks for a great set of statistics opening up a good discussion. What I’d like to see rather than effectiveness in time through the order is what that actually translates to in number of innings pitched. There are a lot of confounding factors in how to treat this data e.g. as @22 says, the 3rd time through you see the best hitters more. Another one is just how many runs, on average, does a pitcher give up before he’s pulled? Even Soroka who, given the above statistics, puts men on base 30% of the time (not counting errors and sacrifices) meaning that, on average, it takes him 13.5 outs to get though 18 hitters. That means he is only left in for 4.1 or 4.2 innings not 5. And all the others are worse.

    And then there’s logic like @11 were all we need is for the starters to pitch perfectly then there’d be no problem at all.

    And @26, we just need to tweak the innings so that our best pitchers pitch the most critical innings. As baseball is not a timed sport, I don’t think there are any innings more important than the others (except maybe the home ninth as the final opportunity). Use an opener often enough and you will have a lot more 5 run 1st innings so that, by the time your better pitcher comes in, he could be perfect and it won’t matter. Although, one thing the opener does is reduce the number of times the starter (or “longer”, he may be called) sees the top of the order. But, then again, some relievers make a career out of getting the bottom of the order out.

    I would be interested in seeing a statistic more tied to how the game is played pragmatically. For example, for each starter, how many innings does he go, on average before giving up his 3rd run (arbitrary but I used that since 6/3 is a quality start). If it’s less than 5, then he’s not much of a starter and more of a middle reliever. that not only takes into account the pitcher’s performance but the manager’s tolerance and eliminates any vagaries like errors or DPs. The OBP stats don’t mean near as much if you have a GB pitcher that gets a lot of GIDPs. Which brings up another statistic that could prove enlightening – on average how many batters face per outing, per inning, etc… If you have an inning where the opposition gets a hit and a DP then the OBP is .333 yet you faced the minimum.

  23. part 2

    Another point is that @24 shows us data saying our relievers are about league average using BA/OBP/SLG but WAR tells us that our relievers sit 30th (neck-and-neck with the O’s). How can that be true. Maybe it’s the WAR calculation because our relievers’ ERA has been so much better than our WAR, but I think our eyes tell us the bullpen is not as good as the ERA (of course, then again, none of this tells us if we lead the league in Grybos).

    What I’m saying is that this data may not be sufficient to draw the conclusions many want to draw.

  24. Good Lord, a month and a half of this:

  25. @30, you can be 30th in the league in any particular category and yet still be relatively close to the league average – just depends on how all the contributors to the average are distributed. This isn’t to say that WAR isn’t painting the correct picture here – it’s more about saying that “we are rank N” in some category doesn’t really provide tons of info.

  26. Nice post, Braves14, and an interesting discussion. Baseball, in my lifetime, has had far fewer rule changes (I won’t be pejorative and say gimmicks] than any other sport. Let the strategies reach an equilibrium and then, if the game is boring, change the rules. We’re nowhere near equilibrium right now which, to me anyway, makes the game way more interesting. I really don’t care that much about unreachable individual statistics — every unreachable statistic is balanced (and occasionally bemoaned) by new highs in some other category (e.g. team homers) The game, amazingly, is still the game. 90 feet between bases, pitcher vs batter, catch the ball and throw it.

  27. Maybe we need a dedicated post about unbreakable records, always a fun topic. Agree that there’s a lot of pitching records that look untouchable due to shifts in usage patterns and general career longevity declining. One that seems pretty safe to me is the back-to-back no-hitter. To break it you have to throw 3 in a row, not gonna happen (probably).

  28. Been out celebrating my birthday today with the fam and just got around to reading this. Fantastic piece!

  29. Apologies to Graham Parker

    No one can hide it anymore we know it’s not imagining
    Even the diehards are unsure when they stop to think
    Bullpen is not worth their pay now they are obsolete
    We’re dying for the hot team to show that the worry’s not concrete
    Waiting for the lolMets Waiting for the lolMets

    We are waiting for the lolMets We know that they’re here
    They’re just a joke they usually suck, but they’re hot as anything
    Anthopolous is holding back, he won’t say a word
    Now is that a Shane Greene save or another broken heart?
    Can I accept this as evidence or is the season torn apart?
    This new obsession is turning us insane too too
    Much more confounding my heart just stopped pounding it’s true
    Waiting for the lolMets Waiting for the lolMets
    We are waiting for the lolMets Waiting Waiting

  30. I bought a house last September on almost two acres in South Carolina. The sellers were retired and were heading down to Florida to live in an RV. Being less than half their age, I couldn’t understand why you’d give up a home on acreage for an RV.

    After a hot, humid summer of mowing and yard upkeep, I totally understand now.

  31. We live on a pie-shaped lot on a cul de sac with a huge front setback, and yes, front yards are incredibly overrated. I appreciate the extra driveway space, but I don’t appreciate how much additional grass to deal with.

  32. I’d like to echo thanks to Braves14 for the interesting post (and to all for consistently interesting/thoughtful/fun recaps & discussion all season). Re: the 300-win threshold, I wonder if we’re not long overdue for another re-evaluation of what constitutes a pitcher win.

    I did not know until this piece by BB-Ref on Old Hoss Radbourn’s 1884 season that: “there was no league-mandated rule in place for assigning wins and losses before 1950. Wins were awarded, but they were entirely up to the discretion of the official scorer.” Especially in our era where 5-6 pitchers per side will regularly appear in a game, and starter outings seem to keep getting shorter, the concept of a Pitcher Win obviously does not always mean the same thing it used to (esp. in the case of “vulture” reliever wins)… so what if it was once again up to the official scorer? Or if it was standardized, according to WPA? Or some combination of both (official scorer could override certain performances undervalued by WPA, etc)? It would have the ancillary benefit, if nothing else, of keeping Chip from his nightly sermonizing re: who was in line for the win.

    This is probably a dumb idea, but thinking about the WPA thing also allows the interesting (to me, at least) thought experiment: what if we tracked Batter Wins? They would essentially be the offensive WPA MVP of every winning side (I think Talking Chop already tracks this in their comment section). Individual Batter Wins would have always seemed kind of absurd as 9-11+ hitters appear per side per game, but since the # of pitchers has increased so much, it’s less & less distinct from the Pitcher Win as a measure of anything– especially as the game seems to be evolving. It could also be interesting to go back historically and see who has the most “Batter Wins” in a given era (it would of course be slanted towards successful teams, but, then again, so are pitcher wins).

  33. @50,52,53 We bought 10-acres about 2 years ago, and while I can agree that yards are a personal preference I’ve learned the value of living back from the road. If you have 10-acres, why would you choose to build right up by the road? Every yahoo with a car thinks that it’s their own personal space to blast loud music, and that is not something I desire to hear at just about all hours of the day for the rest of my life.

    People don’t need front yards, but what they do need are good barriers between themselves and everyone else. A yard is just one such barrier.

    My ideal barrier would be a forest on all sides. :)

  34. I live across the street from the beach down on 30A. We bought when the market bottomed out. Yes…we were the lucky ones that cashed in on other people’s bad investment. We pay our HOA dues monthly and have a small front and back yard that we keep pine straw on. Our neighborhood has an awesome pavillion, pool, HUGE green space, playground, and it backs up to state forest where there are great trails.

    I feel sorry for every person that has to cut grass in the south through the months of June to September.

    To have essentially 0 yard maintenance and all the amenities I could ever want, the HOA monthly fee is TOTALLY worth it.

  35. Ryan, I wonder if I ride my trike past your place? I have a townhouse in PCB (also bought when prices bottomed after the oil spill) and I ride the bike trail on 30A all the time when I am down there. I also scuba dive off one of the public beaches on 30A that has a new man-made reef (I think it’s called Grouper Reef).

  36. Gerrit Cole’s 3rd time through the order stats:

    0.191 0.245 0.289 0.535

    Pay up for him this winter you cowards.

  37. Nothing will change my opinion of Tebow that he’s a sterling human being, but I hope he goes ahead and hangs them up after this year.

  38. Hap, I’m sure you do. I live down in Blue Mountain Beach, essentially across the street from the really cool covered bridge at Draper Lake. Shades is about the only place we could catch a game so I’d be down to have a beer with you there! Let’s make that happen soon!

  39. Report out there that Royals ownership shot down a Wentz for Kennedy deal b/c they didn’t want to eat $ on the deal.

    Interesting, and had that trade happened, I doubt we get either Greene or Melancon (unless we were trying to get a ton of $ from KC).

  40. @66
    The Royals are a hot mess and are going to be bad for a long time unless they change the strategy.

    I truly hope the 9-man bullpen gets resolved today. It’s an absurd setup, especially when only 6 are being used. It doesn’t take a deep thinker to see that an NL team needs more than 2 bench bats in a game.

  41. 67 – Agreed and as I’ve pointed out before, it is a byproduct of managing out of fear. What if the game somehow goes 20 innings? I need to save 2 long men…What if my catcher or SS gets hurt and I’ve already used the backup…

    There is a lot less flexibility with the Gwinnett Shuttle as most of the pen is out of options i think, so that isn’t helping matters but still…

  42. 68 – I’m glad to see Ortega get a shot. I do wish Weigel could get in a game one of these days.

  43. Ortega is certainly deserving and can play all 3 OF positions.

    Personally, I would rather have more than one backup IF. There are now 3 players on the bench who can play OF and just one who can play the middle IF.

  44. 72-Not sure what the doomsday scenario is for losing 2 IF in the same game? Freddie to 3rd, Donaldson to 2nd, Joyce or Flowers to 1B?

    Duvall has played 3b as recently as 2016 and played 2b back in 2010.

  45. Duvall was scratched from the lineup and Joyce is now in batting 6th playing RF (Acuña to LF). No word why.

  46. If we get a bunch of guys hurt during the same game then you probably just lose that game and then call up reinforcements for the next game. No reason to carry a deep bench if the really deep part never plays, and better for the backups if they get continuous reps in AAA anyways.

  47. Duvall had the day off Sunday as well. If he is hurt that would explain Ortega coming up.

  48. Happy with Ortega’s promotion. Has good speed, patience, plate discipline, & gap power has turned into over the fence power with the ball boost. He can also play all 3 OF spots. He’s been a true 5-tool player at AAA this year. Can’t expect all that production at MLB.

    With that being said, Ortega is here because he can easily be DFA’d should Braves choose to get loose as a goose and give Waters or Pache a shot in September.

  49. He was the hitting coach for the Indians during the ‘90s. He certainly has the resume.

  50. I don’t know much about Ortega, but his line at Gwinnett looks pretty solid. His limited amount of time in the big show seems to have yielded some rather lackluster production, though. Still, it’s good to have another actual position player on the bench. Pinch hitting at least becomes a viable option again in a few spots without having to gamble on using a pitcher in the field if a guy gets hurt.

  51. This is a complete shot in the dark, but I wonder if Duvall hurt himself on that amazing diving catch he made several days ago. It seemed like the kind of play that could go real sideways with his insulin pump.

  52. What a bailout that home plate umpire gave the Mets. Should be 3-0 and, at the very least, Fried cleared for the bottom of the second.

  53. 2 strikes, 2 outs and we can’t get out of an inning. Aaargh.

    It’s no wonder the Mets are winning when the umps take a run away and give a strike back that results in a Mets run.

  54. That curveball that hit Wheeler was dumb. He just blew a fastball by him, it’s the pitcher, blow him away.

  55. Fried has already thrown 40 pitches and is into the 2nd time through the order and it’s only the 2nd inning.

  56. Man, Ender has been hitting great since coming back. Such a relief to have him contributing with the bat.

  57. Good lord, Ronald!

    Max’s defense bailed him out of that inning. Good to see him be able to have another good line when he command wasn’t its best.

  58. Man, what a tag by McCann. Great throw by Ronnie, absolutely, but McCann is so often our unsung hero.

  59. Jerome Jerenovich, referring to the 40/40 Club of Jose Canseco, Barry Bonds, A-Rod, Alfonso Soriano, and potentially Ronald Acuna, said, “Look at that screen, he’ll be the only one that didn’t have a syringe sticking out of youknowwhat of his body parts.”


  60. I think I told this story before, but my wife met Charlie Manuel in a bar 9 years ago when they were in Clearwater for Spring Training. I didn’t believe her, but she could pick him out of a lineup. When he was on TV today, she called it out that it was him without me saying anything. I think I believe her.

  61. I’m not sure Greene’s ever gonna get another out in his career.

    Welp, that should’ve been two outs. Sigh.

  62. These two strike lollipops have been getting killed since he has been in Atlanta. He doesn’t seem to have any plus pitches

  63. What the heck has happened yo our SS defense? Everyone has been disappointing, including Dansby.
    I’m over Culbertson as well, been a while since he’s done anything meaningful. (The throw to get the last out at home plate).

  64. Greene needs to pitch in mop up duty for a while. He pitched the Mets into a rally and now we are in a dog fight. Cut your losses and stop trying to get him confidence unless the game is out of hand

  65. He pitched the Mets into a rally and now we are in a dog fight.

    You know, it’s still 5-1 if not for Culberson’s defense.

  66. If Yahoo is correct, Fried as a hitter has 7 singles, 2 doubles, 4 walks, and 11 runs this year. I assume some of those are as a pinch-runner and some may have resulted from him getting on base via fielder’s choices, but it seems like that’s got to be pretty unusual. Maddux scored 13 in a season once (with the Cubs), and Smoltz, Glavine, and Niekro each had career highs of 11. I would have thought that Niekro, who wasn’t an awful hitter and pitched eleventy-billion innings a year for more years than a lot of our players have been alive, would’ve lucked into 15 or 20 runs some year with one of the good-hitting teams in the Launching Pad.

  67. Donaldson’s defense is top notch.

    Now I understand why Melancon covers the rubber. He’s not pitching off of it. He is several inches off the rubber when he pitches.

  68. I love Culberson, but he’s really made me miss Dansby. Dansby is as close to Andrelton as we’ll get for a long, long time.

  69. I am hungry, thirsty, and a variety of other cravings for Max Fried, and I don’t care who knows it.

  70. @147 Hahaha. Good for you, Bethany. Thanks for sharing.
    Huge win against the Mets. RAJ has been absolutely unbelievable.
    I can only recommend to listen to yesterday’s 755 podcast from DOB over at The Athletic. Moylan joined EOF and DOB. Interesting to hear them discussing bullpens.

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