The sound of Philadelphia (Crashing): Braves 7, Cheesesteaks 2

Above is a favorite of mine of the genre “TSOP.” Let it be your musical and practical theme for last night. The Atlanta Braves have burned the mother up, all 100 stories, all 90 wins.

Philadelphia was the wealthiest, most educated, and largest city in the new United States. The first thing that drove New York upward was a yellow fever epidemic in the 1790’s. The people who could afford to move did. The ones who couldn’t move didn’t. So, they boo Santa Claus. (The second thing that drove New York’s development was the Erie Canal added to the steam engine, by the way).

I am still on Fox Sports (no longer part of News Corp) and Dish Network’s dispute. Charlie Ergen (founder and so far as I know, still largest shareholder of Dish Network) really tries to hold down subscriber fees. This one is getting old. But because of this, I can’t tell many of you much about this game which you don’t already know.

So, broad themes. 1. Spank them early and often. 1st inning 2 runs off Aaron Nola. 2nd inning, 2 runs off Aaron Nola. Good start for the offense. No extended hibernation mode. 2. Mike Foltynewicz perfect through 4 and 1 / 3 and then a solo homer and more near perfection. 7 K’s, NO BB’s, 3 hits, 1 run (earned), 7 innings. Maybe good Folty is here for the postseason. 3. It is fun beating up on the “stupid money people.” “Smart money” is beating “stupid money.” Who woulda thunk it?

Burn baby burn, Braves an inferno. Burn baby burn, burn Philly down.

Adieu to the readers of Braves Journal for this regular season. My magic number is now 0. See you again maybe in the postseason, but definitely in the offseason.

27 thoughts on “The sound of Philadelphia (Crashing): Braves 7, Cheesesteaks 2”

  1. Interesting off the wall fact. As of today, the gNats have to play 3 more games than the Braves the rest of the way. Even with expanded rosters, that sets up a grind.

  2. Woohoo, my first JC’ed comment!

    (Basically a 3 post run telling AA to give Donaldson all the money.)

  3. Mulleted Scamp Inquiry: the Braves could extend a Qualified Offer to him once the season ends, right?

    My guess/hope is that he very much enjoys playing here for the Braves and we end up keeping him for another 2-3 years after this season at reasonable rates ($20 – $25M annually).

  4. @6
    It’d be once their season ends, not game 162.

    It wouldn’t surprise me to see the Braves extend Donaldson a QO, he reject it, only to turn around and sign an extension with the team for 3/80MM. As of right now, the Braves have ~50MM committed to the 2020 team prior to option decision & arb/pre-arb salaries.

    Projected arb-salaries take the total to ~75MM for 12 players (cannot imagine Duvall’s on the team next year).

    Add options of Julio, Markakis, and Flowers and that pushes the total to ~93MM for 15 players.

    Add in pre-arb salaries of 7-8 guys, and that puts the total ~98MM.

    There’s room to sign Donaldson for 3/80MM if that is what it would take to get him, but that would be banking on the DH being in the NL by 2022.

  5. Folty’s got 4 more starts, and I hope that I’m eating crow. What an enigma. In his last 5 starts, he’s pitched 4 2/3, 4 2/3, 5, 7, and 7 innings. Of Braves starters in the last 2 years, only Teheran once and Newcomb several times has had a stretch where 3 of 5 starts went 5 innings or less, and Newcomb was banished to the pen and we hated Teheran.

    I think the real source of my frustration is the tweet by Bowman during Folty’s first bout with heat exhaustion that he didn’t eat enough. Then the most recent one has set me off thinking that it was for the same reason. It could be metabolic, he can just have a raging metabolism, but I do find it telling that Bowman didn’t tweet out that he didn’t have a hearty breakfast that go ’round.

  6. @7
    I don’t have time to respond now, but I realize that Rob wrote something yesterday concerning payroll. Our school was out all day yesterday doing volunteer work helping rebuild house for hurricane victims so I wasn’t active on the blog much yesterday. Will address the differences in a bit.

  7. @Rob I recently read Folty doesn’t eat well before starts because of stress/anxiety. That is 2nd hand so take it with a grain of salt, but to me it helps explain some things.

  8. @8 Comparing Folty and Teheran is somewhat apples to oranges though, isn’t it? Both have been up and down, yes- but Folty’s stuff gives him a better chance to trend up, whereas Julio sorta is what he is. That’s why Folty probably gets more rope, which I don’t have any issue with.

  9. Then why not apply the same logic to Newcomb? Newcomb and Folty are similar in the sense that they have above average velocity, great stuff, and mostly poor-to-terrible command. And for his career as just a starter, leaving out his relief work, Newk has a lower ERA and FIP, and a higher K rate than Folty. And Newk is left-handed. They’ve been mostly successful with who they’ve committed to as a starter and reliever, and who they have given up on, so they probably deserve the benefit of the doubt, but I don’t think it’s unfair to question the upside of Folty at this point. Ironic, though, for me to say this after a modern day complete game shut out. Ha.

  10. @myself and Rob

    The difference in our numbers is that Spotrac does a few things that makes 0 sense.
    1. They include all options as picked up, even Hamilton’s entire salary, in their numbers. Braves will pay him 1MM to buyout his contract, not 7MM. As of now, I think Teheran, Kakes, and Flowers are Braves next year.
    2. They don’t factor in arb-guesses (which were my own and I can get pretty close in my guesses).
    3. They don’t factor in pre-arb numbers (which I estimate at the high end of 600K/player.

    So, to sum it up, they count all options has optioned, don’t factor in arb-numbers, and don’t factor in pre-arb numbers.

    98MM is a fairly good guess for about 22 players.

  11. I would think so. My ~98 million is guesswork, but guesswork from comparable arb salaries and pre-arb salaries.

  12. Rob @ 13,

    I was far more dissatisfied with “Bad Newcombe” than “Bad Folty.” Even the last time Newcombe pitched (Sunday?), he was throwing pitches over and over 18 inches to 2 feet outside the zone (according to Gamecast and nobody else shows like that on Gamecast). When he was starting he did that 25% of his pitches. Part of what helped him in the pen is they told him to keep throwing strikes and forget about if it got hit.

    Also, Folty is expensive and may get more so. You could afford to wait a year on Newcombe more than Folty. Braves had to make an arb decision at the end of the year. Also, Braves needed Newcombe as a lefty in the pen most of the season. With Minter seemingly decapitated and LOOGY Blevins, one more lefthander was crucial. And, since Folty had options, he could be sent down to see what happened.

  13. @10, do you know what he, or any pitchers, eat or drink between innings? I’m sure that on hot days they need something, and I assume it’s something more advanced than Gatorade. There are all kinds of gels and other products designed to get nutrition to marathoners and cyclists during their events so they can sustain effort for longer. While there’s a wide range in what things do and don’t upset different individuals’ stomachs, it seems like trial and error could find something that would keep Folty going longer, even if he doesn’t eat much before starts.

  14. @13 I don’t disagree that you could apply the same logic to Newk, which is why I omitted him from my counter argument. Here’s the difference between Folty and Newk, to me: moving Newk out of the rotation has been a positive for him and the team. Whatever it is, be it physically or mentally, he looks more suited to be a RP. If they moved Newk back now into the rotation, I’d be more frustrated if he struggled because I’ve seen his ability as a RP. Folty, otoh, in a short sample, has posted a dominant year as a SP- and watching the struggles are about hoping to see him recapture that.

  15. @17 Also very much agree with this take. As a RP, Newk relies so much more on his stuff, and while he’s not always perfect, he’s better for it.

    Plus, as mentioned, there is an arb decision looming on Folty. I’m sure the club wants as much data as possible for that decision. And if Folty gets bombed, you tamp that salary down. If Newk gets bombed, we just have to find something else on tv by the 4th.

  16. To cliff’s point, I’m being unfair in comparing Newk to Folty. Folty’s strike-throwing inconsistency pales in comparison to Newk’s. Not only is Newk’s walk rate a full run per 9 higher when he was a starter, but he had double the amount of outings less than 5 innings than Folty. So even when he wasn’t walking the stadium, he got so deep in counts that he couldn’t stay in the game.

  17. Folty had a good year last year and a great game yesterday. He has yet to offer more than that, and in fact has been consistently inconsistent the rest of his big league history. He is not at this time the pitcher you put on the bump in an elimination game.

  18. In this run of 10 straight Folty starts with a win, the Braves have defeated Ryu, DeGrom, Berrios and Nola, so those are some legit aces.

  19. @10: I don’t think a grain of salt will be nearly enough…. I’d suggest a medley from The Varsity. A couple of dogs, a bag of rags and a frosted orange maybe. Sure, maybe he’d vomit on the mound, but that’s better than vomiting up runs.

  20. I’m not sure what the real argument is here. Folty is not auditioning for the playoff rotation. That is already set. He is auditioning for the spot on the playoff roster as long man. I think he’s doing a great job of auditioning for that role. Whether he lasts 4.2 or 7 innings doesn’t matter much as long as he can throw together a string of shutdown innings. If he keeps this up, he will make a great long man/injury replacement starter.

    I think there’s no question that Folty will be offered arbitration. He has already proven he can be a top notch starter next year. Will he deliver? Only time will tell.

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