Braves 6, Northern Invaders 3

When I was a boy, in most decent sized towns in the South you had a Confederate memorial with a statue of a soldier. Usually it was an archetype of the regular soldier, standing with his rifle. Usually it was not some general on horseback. Also, one typical thing, was that the soldier was facing north, to remind the invaders not to come back. The one in Americus Georgia sat in the intersection of Lamar Street and Lee Street. After a few cars hit it, they moved it to Reese Park in 1964 or so and faced him east. Now a lot of these are being taken down over political interpretations that conflict with earlier sentiments.

Canada hasn’t probably actually invaded the U. S. ever. As a subject of the King of Great Britain, it served as the launching point for some forays in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. After its independence, the only invasions have been whisky in the 20’s and snowbirds since the 70’s.

This invasion is being led by something called a wag us pack (at least, that is the way Jim Powell said it). And, this invasion is being repelled by a Canadian, Maple Maddox Mike Soroka.

The invaders have a “back to the 90’s” plan. Most on this site can recall Guerrero, Biggio, and Bichette. However, it wasn’t Junior, Cavan, and Bo. Junior didn’t start this one, but the old names kept on coming. Bo singled, advanced to second on Cavan’s ground out, The Great Randall Grichuk struck out, and Smoak flied out.

Bottom of 1, the action starts. Acuna grounds out, Ozzie walks, Yesterday’s hero Freddie Freeman flied out and the Mulleted Scamp launced an 0-2 pitch to right center. 2 to nothing, Braves. And the ESPN win probability is reading about 84%. Hmm?

Top of 2, Teoscar Hernandez, Billy McKinney struck out swinging, and old Braves farm hand Brandon Drury singled. Then Soroka completed his plan by getting Jansen to ground out and have the pitcher set to lead of 3.

Bottom of 2, Dansby Swanson continued in his offensively (as in not contributing to scoring or as in this offends one and all, you pick your usage there) futile return with a ground out. The “catcher of the Braves special second wind spirit,” drew a walk. Then Raphael “I’ve Created My Miracle, Your Turn” Ortega popped out to second. “Mr. .091” Mike Soroka then struck out on 3 pitches.

Top of 3. Whoever is running Game Cast has Bichette coming up first, but it should be Waguespack. By the time they are actually throwing pitches, they fix their glitch. Waguespack returns the favor of the 3 pitch strike out to Soroka. Bichette flied out to right, and Biggio struck out. Kind of feeling that 90’s dominance over the Astros and Rockies, aren’t you?

Bottom of 3. Unlike the Northern Invaders, Braves cleared the pitcher last inning to let Acuna start it off. Waguespack starts at 43 on the pitch count after 2 innings. Whoo! All Acuna did to help the cause was cause 7 more pitches before striking out. Ozhaino Albies followed with a walk and added 7 more pitches. Then, FF took the next pitch and Ozzie stole second. Then FF grounded to second and Ozzie moved up to 3rd. Waguespack gave the unintentional intentional walk to The Mulleted Scamp. Oh, and now the pitch count is up to 66. Would Matt Joyce make them pay for their disrespect? Maybe there was nothing intentional on the walk to JD because 4 pitches later bases are loaded. Or maybe it was because Waguespack was sure he could get Dansby. Pitch count 70, by the way. Dansby gets on with the help of a Brandon Drury error and 2 score. 4 to 0 Braves. ESPN probability of win is 93.7% to the Braves. After Cervelli grounded out, the probability dropped to 92.9.

Top of 4. Randall Grichuk (What!!!) homered. Probability at 89.4%. then Just In Smoak was a little cloudy as he grounded to the right side to Dansby in the shift. Teoscar Hernandez struck out and probability back to 91.4%. Billy McKinney walked on 5 pitches and Brandon Drury struck out on 3. Soroka up to 62 pitches. About 15 under Waguespack and an inning more pitched. 15 per inning is a whole lot better than 25 per inning.

Bottom of 4. Rafael Ortega didn’t get the coach’s “run up the pitch count” speech. He struck out in 3. Then Soroka grounded out to second and Acuna lined out to deep right. Probability at 90.6%.

Top of 5. Jansen ran up the count, but then grounded to FF. probability at 91.8%. Then something called a Rowdy Tellez pinch hit for Waguespack. Clint Eastwood became famous for playing Rowdy. If he keeps hitting 455 foot home runs, then he might be famous a little himself. Bichette walked and Biggio doubled. What is up with Soroka? Grichuk contributed a sacrifice fly to make it 4 to 3 and then Just In Smoak grounded to Dansby playing the shift up the middle. After all of that, Braves win probability is still 79.6%. I don’t know how they figure that stuff. Now the game is “official.”

Bottom of 5 starts with Ozzie. Jason Adam (Adam is the last name, not Adams) comes in to pitch. After getting it to a full count, Ozzie grounds to first. Freddie didn’t place his shift beating left side popup as well as he did against the Rockies, so he was out. The Mulleted Scamp struck out.

Well, Snit apparently thought Soroka had too many pitches and that they were too listless. So, in comes Josh Tomlin who promptly strikes out Teoscar Hernandez, then Billy McKinney. Fair chance that the pitcher spot comes up next inning. What will Snit do about that? Well, Brandon Drury grounded out to short, so maybe you let Tomlin work until he has a problem.

Bottom of 6. Joyce grounds out to second off of Adam. And lo and behold, Dansby singled to right. Then the Italian-Venezuelan, Venezuelan-Italian, whatever, GIDP’d. Cervelli likes catching Tomlin, so he took the decision away from Snit.

Top of 7. I really hope this 74% win probability is right. Tomlin pitched to Jansen who was on the “run up the pitch count plan” with three 2 strike foul balls in a row, but eventually flied out to right. So, Derek Fisher pinch hit for Adam, and grounded out. Bo Bichette stepped in at 1 for 2 with a walk and decided to have mercy on us by flying out to Acuna. Everybody get up and stretch.

Bottom of 7, despite being impugned on Braves Journal, Rafael Ortega coaxed a 9 pitch walk. Charlie Clutch came in to hit for Unsung Hero Josh Tomlin. Charlie was as good as a bunt. he struck out, but Ortega stole second. The Blue Jays called for the review. After an insufferable amount of time, the call stood. So, Acuna steps in with one out. Ortega took 3rd on a pick off error. But the “Struggling Acuna” struck out. Ozzie? Took it to a 3 and 2 count, but struck out. 5 straight high pitches (4 of them balls according to Game Cast, with one of those a foul ball) followed by a middle middle for the strike out. Two innings to go. Hopefully, one and a half innings to go.

Billy Hamilton doubled switched in with Shane Greene in to pitch and is due up 3rd. Hmm? Greene got Biggio, Grichuk and Smoak 1, 2, 3. On to bottom of 8

Toronto brought on lefty Buddy Boshers. Freddie led off and struck out. Donaldson reached on an error and Johan the Unknown Soldier Camargo came on as the pinch hitter. That expanded bench is nice to have, isn’t it? Johan launched one to create more [insert reliever name here] Room. Now it is 6 to 3. Then damn if Dansby didn’t single to right again. Maybe he is coming out of the funk. Good time for that. Cervelli had an 8 pitch at bat that ended on a called strike on what Game Cast said was a several inches inside ball. Let the viewers comment on their perspective on that. So Rafael Ortega gets one more chance to make tacos. Only if you like Poop Up tacos as the fly ball ended its arc in the shortstops glove. On to 9. By the way, win probability now at 97.5%. Much more comfortable. Snit called on Mark Muh Lan! Sun, got it?

Immaculate At Bat against Teoscar Hernandez. Immaculate at bat against Billy McKinney. Broke the string with a first pitch ball to Drury. So, two pitches shy of an Immaculate Inning, and that was that.

More winning, please.

32 thoughts on “Braves 6, Northern Invaders 3”

  1. Well, with these afternoon games it is easier to punch them out on the office computer and then go home where there currently is no computer. It is one thing to recap a West Coast game ending at 1 a.m. the next morning at 8, but if it ends before 5, then Ryan won’t have time for his extra content.

  2. With 3 catchers up there is no point in starting Cervelli in his present state. What was an asset, his speed, is a huge liability and is not helping his contact at the plate either. The overall priority must be his match fitness by the end of the month. For post season play he is clearly our first choice catcher assuming we can get him fit.

    Least convincing performance by Soroka for a long time, ineffective and suddenly vulnerable after the third. Ironic this should be a win for him, the previous excellent 8 starts not. Great bullpen work all round, again.

    Ortega, unbelievable luck, don’t write him off for the playoffs yet. Charlie, washed out…Acuna the same. Dansby still searching his timing. Oz and JD keep us smiling.

  3. Thanks for the fast and great recap, cliff.
    Perfect Labor Day weekend.
    Melancon is so focused on the mound. Great trade. Great bullpen all around again today.
    Go Braves!

  4. Your recaps get better every time, cliff. Thank you.

    Hentgen and Key were the northern invaders I feared the most.

  5. Ma – LAN – con
    my anger has completely gone
    I had said you looked fifty, playing dirt footsie on the mound
    Kimbrel, who he? you’re the greatest old closer we could possibly have found.

  6. Well, Vegas set our win total at 86, so tomorrow may be the day that the Braves tie that win total. They could clear the win total over/under in the first week of September. Good job, Braves.

    I think it was like +130 or something silly for them to make the playoffs too.

  7. What does an extension for Freeman look like? He seems to be of the Chipper Jones mindset: doesn’t want to play anywhere else.

    I would say 6/$120.


  8. I either meant to or actually did write a blog post about a Freeman extension modeled after Votto or Goldschmidt. It’s kind of pathetic I can’t remember, to be honest. But there’s no way Freddie is going to take a de-escalating contract like that at his current age of 29. I think if you want that kind of deal, you’d have to literally tack on 3 or 4 additional years at $25M per in the front end to make that deal happen, and even then, he’ll be 38-39 when he’s getting paid peanuts (to him).

    I think it has to start somewhere in the 6YR/$150M territory, or else why would he sign the deal? It’s not like his skill set is going to age that poorly into his mid-30s. He’s not going to forget how to hit, hit for a decent amount of power, pick balls at 1B, and not make outs on the bases. He’s a perfectly fair bet to average 4 WAR per year for the next 5-6 years. After all, Chipper averaged 5.2 bWAR from ages 30 (Freddie’s age next year) to age 36. If Freddie could even match 4 WAR, very possible, he’s worth at least $25M per year.

    His comps are probably Joey Votto and Paul Goldschmidt. Votto’s deal was signed in a different market, and his was 10YR/$225M at age 30. Goldschmidt’s was probably closer to what you’d hope for for Freddie: 5YR/$145M at age 31 with breakdowns of $15M/26/26/26/26/26.

  9. I THINK I only have one Monday recap left (next week against Philly).
    Time flies and it flees also.

  10. Just finished a piece that I’ll be putting up tomorrow. It’s pretty awesome to get to write things about postseason roster battles!

  11. Touki Toussaint pitched as an Atlanta Brave for likely the last time yesterday.

    4.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 7 K, 7.49 ERA

    We gave him a generous shot. It’s not clear if he always responded in kind. Someone else’s problem next year. Please.

  12. @17

    Ha! My supervisor! I know you don’t and i admire your sticking up for him. Me, i’ve had my fill, whether it comes under the heading ‘lack of effort’ primarily is not so clear. I think he’s by temprement a sulker when things go wrong and people like that tend to back off the effort part in that instance.. You and i and everyone else did it at times when we were young, he ain’t young any more. Once again, the eyes have it! My best to you.

  13. Mister Camargo
    first sulked when subjected to third base embargo
    but he put in a sustained effort at triple A
    and now, behold, the smile is back, he swings away.

  14. blazon @ 16,

    You keep a talent like Touki until he is out of options and / or Minor League Free Agent UNLESS you trade him for something good. Yes, he is mostly potential now, but potential is valuable.

  15. Looking at the box, the Braves scored 6 runs on 4 hits. Walks and errors by the Blue Jays and Braves home runs after 1 of the 2 helped out a lot.

  16. @ 20

    Yes. My guess is the time has come and he will be traded over the winter while there is still some glitter to the name.

  17. Don’t get me wrong, Touki at this point is well behind a list of pitching prospects that includes Wright, Anderson, and Wilson. Maybe even Kyle Muller considering how well he did at AA, his age, and he’s a lefty.

    But there is no chance that Touki is anywhere remotely close to being non-tendered. Might be traded, sure, but the Braves absolutely would not give up on Touki by non-tendering him.

  18. The Braves top 10 prospects includes 3 IFAs, 4 1st round picks, 2 2nd round picks, and 1 4th round pick. 2 of the 1st round picks are the 3rd and 5th picks in their respective drafts. The 2nd round picks are 41st and 44th in their respective drafts, so towards the top of the second round after sandwich picks.

    Is it concerning at all how quickly the back end of the prospect charts have thinned, especially with so much of the top 10 having been picks taken during the rebuild and at a better draft position? And of course, we’ve lost tremendous ground on the international front. I only say this as Los Angeles called up Gavin Lux, yet another top prospect for a team that has had bad draft position for a few years now. They have 4 top 100s according to MLB; we have 5. I might just do more research on this and do a comparison of the Braves’ system at this juncture and the Dodgers’ from, say, 2 years ago.

  19. I would point out that, had we asked you in June, you’d have likely said there’s no way we’d have released Luiz Gohara outright.

    If the Braves are as fed up with him as blazon, they could very well release him. Now, if they think there’s still potential there (or if they think they can get something for him), I agree with you that they’ll keep him around for another year or trade him, but we have enough pitching prospects where they’re not gonna keep Touki around just for the hell of it.

  20. @ 24, Rob,

    I am not as sure that the back end is quite so severely thinned. We have lots of genuine relief prospects and role player prospects and 4th / 5th starter prospects. We also have a lot of underscouted “pop up” prospects like Tucker Davidson and Jeremy Walker.

    With ATL unlikely to have a Dodgers / Yankees payroll, those save some money.

    Also, several guys have higher potentials and we will know a lot more about 2 of them by the end of AFL (Trey Harris and Jenista).

    A “downward consolidation trade” moving some current 40 man talent and “this year must add to 40 man” talent for recent draftees and international signees with pre option years could make some sense. These aren’t made often, but it is an avenue to pursue.

  21. I thought about Gohara in saying that, but Gohara wasn’t healthy, and there clearly was some concern about whether he was going to be healthy in the foreseeable future. It would seem that he had passed completely through waivers as the Angels signed him a week later or so. I guess it’s possible that they could non-tender Touki, but I think Gohara was in a different circumstance. I mean, who’s DFA’ing 23-year old LHPs?

    Fun fact: Luiz Gohara was DFA’ed on his birthday. Dang.

  22. @25 I don’t think Touki’s situation is anywhere near Gohara’s yet (he hasn’t missed an entire year yet).

    He’s just 23. I think that speaks for itself.

    @24 I think people were more concerned about the farm until players like Ball and others from this most recent draft took off like they did. We will definitely see a lull in the high and mid system soon, but if Shea, Ball and Harris turn out to be the real deal, that should paper over the draft position shifts and the sanctions.

  23. @29 I believe you are correct! He’s also suffered from (and gotten over) the yips once in his professional career.

    I don’t know if he’s going to figure it out, but there’s still time. His upside is great enough that the Braves will hold onto him to see if he can find himself consistently, or they’ll trade him to an org who thinks they can help him get there.

  24. Why were the Braves so totally uncommunicative about Gohara’s circumstances throughout this year? And no bye.byes either. Wow, you could really wind yourself up over this one. And then have to remind yourself it’s all rather sad. Which, to be fair, could maybe account for their silence.

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