Braves 4, Beelzebub 5

Like Kris Kristofferson said “Monday morning, coming down.” Or maybe it was the Bangles: “Just another manic Monday.” Maybe because it was because it was the moon’s day what we have experienced lunacy.

Who is this alien being impersonating Freddie Freeman and how did that being shape shift so effectively?

Did Matt Joyce decide he needed to return to his decline phase?

Is Nick the Neck Markakis actually this bad or is the bone still sore and the muscles still weak?

How is it that 90% of the “inches” plays are going to the Cardinals? Really, like we don’t already know.

So, Braves lost in the 10th off of a walk off sacrifice fly from the bat of Yadier “Overrated” Molina. We finished with Teheran on the mound. Special shout out to Josh Tomlin for 1 and one third perfect. RAJ was close to perfect, as were Ozzie and Dans. Everybody else was not too good.

The key thing was not getting more runs in the 6th and 7th. Opportunities must not be wasted. Runner at third, no outs, in a playoff game, and you must score.

Wednesday is Hump Day. Braves can decide who gets to do the Humping.

49 thoughts on “Braves 4, Beelzebub 5”

  1. Doomed. Or not.
    Will Folty call his shot?
    Let’s hope he stays hot.

    Edit: My first attempt at a clerihew. I hope I don’t disappoint our Poet Laureate, blazon.

  2. Julio does not deserve goat status for the game yesterday. There are several players and management ahead of him before we even get to his name for consideration.

  3. Simple question. Is Soroka better than Keuchel? Is Fried better? Why did you start your 4th best arm (at best) twice in a playoff series? Will management fire themselves? Will they apologize to the fan base?

  4. Agree that there are about 7 people who are bigger goats from yesterday then Julio. That one hurts, and it might be one we have to look back on for years and wince at the opportunity we lost because of it.

  5. 2019 has been an enjoyable season. We were told the Braves would be lucky to get a wildcard berth. Liberty would never quit squeezing the nickel. AA didn’t make a move that wouldn’t fail. Snit was a synonym for fool.

    Here we are with another game to play, 27 outs to get and give. I love baseball. I love this wounded, flawed team. Win or lose, hopefully win,


  6. Dallas pitched well in Game 1, something of a tightrope walk to be sure, but he only allowed one run. He certainly was not the reason we lost Game 1.

    He struggled yesterday, no argument. But he’s a guy we brought in here, at significant cost, precisely because he has big-game experience. I can’t fault the FO for putting him out there. Two Soroka starts would have been nice but we will have him available out of the pen tomorrow, so along with Folty and Fried we will have (arguably) all three of our best arms available for the most important game.

  7. At the end of the day, it’s the offense. If we win, it’ll be because they hit. If we lose, it’ll be because they didn’t. We can’t just score one in the first and hope the pen will make it hold up. We won’t win unless the bats wake up, and it really ain’t any more complicated.

  8. 80% of the blame is on the offense no doubt, but we’ve had late leads and lost twice. The pitching rotation strategy has the effect of maximizing the innings pitched by the pen, which is undoubtedly the weakest link in our chain. I just don’t understand their logic.

    Keuchel is the “safe” play for sure. If Fried got lit up in a start then AA and company would face more heat. They’ve basically taken the “nobody gets fired for buying IBM” route. And they won’t take any heat for it. I’m just saying that they should.

  9. Dusty’s updated Braves Fan Opposing Team Hatred Index (BFOTHI)

    1. Cardinals – They were already here for me, just cementing their standing.
    2. Dodgers – Being a fan in the 80s left a mark, not to mention the recent playoff run-ins.
    3. Phillies – I’ll never forgive 1993, or for making Glavine throw at Murphy.
    4. Yankees – ’96 hurt, ’99 I was numb to it by that point, but they’re a plenty hate-able team even without the 2 World Series.
    5. Marlins – ’97 Eric Gregg, Urena, they are Pure Evil
    6. Cubs – I just really hate the organization, with their known pattern of deploying domestic abusers (Chapman and now Russell), also the Wood Prior year (03 maybe?)
    7. Giants – EYBS, Posey was and continues to be out.
    8. Nats – I don’t really hate the Nats that much honestly, but they have to be on here. Braves being good and Nats being good hasn’t really happened simultaneously that often. About as inept in the playoffs as ATL.
    9. Astros – Burke, Clemens, not a very hate-able team right now, mainly just hate-able how much talent they have
    10. Red Sox – I have had enough of their recent success, the Bill Hahn game, the ridiculous comeback against us last August.

    Not pictured, the Mets. They are just too pathetic to be hate-able.

  10. @6,

    Agree that I also reject “doom and gloom.” I also am not so inclined to question the decisions, or at least maybe not hold a grudge over them.

    This team’s injuries to its players late in the season, causing its 2 most useful bench players to be unavailable while also having limiting injuries influencing the play of 4 usual starters, is a tough thing to overcome. However, I feel fairly good about where we are.

    Agreed that the bats have been more of a problem than the arms, overall. If we can’t hit Flaherty better, there will be no tomorrow.

    I am going to dance with the one that brung me. Yee Haw!!!

  11. Don’t think I can bear to read through yesterday’s game thread and while I don’t believe the rotation was set up optimally, it’s the performance of the middle of the order that is the largest culprit. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Freddie look so pathetic, and we’re not getting a whole lot more from Donaldson, Neck, or Joyce.

  12. The best news about this playoff series with the Cardinals is that we don’t have a game on Tuesday. I like our chances on Wednesday much better.

  13. It’s hard not to be doom and gloom because a good body of playoff history tells us exactly how this series ends.

  14. @1 Seat Painter

    good first attempt…4 lines please, not three…AA BB rhyming…any length of lines you want, needn’t match…first line if possible should just be a persons name, it’s essentially a biographical construct. Last line should be a whimsical put down of the individual, not easy! Keep going!

  15. If we win tomorrow, all is forgiven (or should be, anyway…with some of you, I’m not so sure). There’ll be plenty of time for this kind of postmortem if we lose, I really don’t see a whole lot of point in trashing everybody at this juncture.

    We should tinker with our lineup some. Starting Duvall over either Markakis or Joyce (I’m sure they’ll choose Joyce as the odd man out there) seems like a must. You could also tinker with the batting order, though if you go by results and move it to Duvall-Dansby at five and six, respectively, you’ve just put three right-handed hitters in a row. (And yes, I know Freddie and Donaldson have sucked, but they’re not going to get moved down the order. Don’t really know what else to tell you there.)

    I think McCann should start again. He calls a better game, he’s left-handed, and Flowers and Cervelli are both bad offensively anyway.

    Fried and Soroka should be our first arms out of the pen unless Folty gets through seven or something. At least yesterday’s game was lost early in extra innings and we didn’t have to break the emergency glass on Folty or Soroka. Our pitching is set up about as well as you could ask for a winner-take-all game.

    It’s still right there in front of us. I like our chances tomorrow. And if we lose, I’ll be happy to slink away for three months while you guys question whether or not it’s time for another five-year rebuild.

  16. Interesting comments elsewhere on the marked difference between Dansby’s and Freddie’s post match interviews. Dansby articulate, positive, cheerful smiles,spoke well of other players by name. Freddie was dreadful, terse, monosyllabic at times, generally unhelpful. If it wasn’t for AAR here I would have used the dreaded ‘S’ word’, it would have been entirely appropriate!

    Which raises the whole question of leadership of this team. I suspect this could be the first sign it is beginning to turn. It will not happen overnight but some are saying the obvious, your best player is not necessarily your best leader…see Molina today for one.

    ‘Zero’ said Freddie with a sour face looking down to the ground when the inevitable elbow question came. That’s an insult to all of us after displays we have had to watch in this series. Alternatively, maybe it’s all getting a bit too much for him.

    Don’t just shoot the messenger – this is a real moment in our journey upwards, 120 RBI’s not withstanding.

  17. I wouldn’t read anything into post game interviews. Not shocking that Dansby was in a better mood than Freddie. He knows he sucked. What’s there to say really? The only scoop here would be that he’s truly playing hurt, but that’s on management more than Freddie.

  18. There’s an incorrect narrative going around that we shouldn’t criticize Freeman due to it being only four games / small sample size, yada yada yada.

    Just a friendly reminder that his suckage started on September 11th, around the time the bone spur comments came out.

    He’ s hit only one HR since then ( the one in game one) and is hitting .115 in that time (6-53 or something like that).

    The guy is playing hurt and hurting the team, as Dansby did last year.

  19. What’s the realistic alternative given that this injury didn’t manifest until well after the trade deadline? Sit Freddie and play Riley? And even though I love Riley I think there’s a decent chance that he’d be hitting .100 as well. File this one under “Atlanta Things” I guess.

  20. Not sure if Freeman is playing hurt as much as cortisone shots or whatever are covering up the pain. He’s never lied and said it’s 100%. It may be simply that when he was hurt the pain forced him into some bad habits. Donaldson hasn’t exactly been tearing the cover off the ball either, going 2 for 15 in the playoffs and not hitting a homerun since September 9. Here’s hoping Josh, Freddie, Nick, Brian and Matt break out of slumps today and the rest of the playoffs. If that happens, we’ll go a long way.

  21. Yeah, are we really talking about plugging Lucas Duda or something into the first base spot? What the heck are you supposed to do but ride with Freddie and hope for the best? Cardinals have team doctors. They know what’s wrong with Freddie. They’re probably telling the scouting department how to pitch to him if they think certain swings aggravate it. We’d do the same if we knew about another player’s injury. It’s business.

  22. To expound on that, at minimum, St. Lous had some intern watching hours of ABs to see if Freddie even winced once on a certain pitch or swing. They know that if they shut him down, they have a great shot to win the series, and they probably looked for any possible way that his injury impacted his performance. And if they didn’t, then they’re stupid and we should have beat them in 3.

  23. Yeah, if we were gonna hedge against the Freddie situation, we’d have brought Riley along on the roster. If we were to sit Freddie for this game, the only option now is to play Donaldson at first and Hech at third. I’m still not convinced that we’re not better off just leaving Freddie in there and hoping something happens, though.

  24. Don’t get me wrong, I mentioned in the previous thread that the sad part was there was no good replacement for Freeman.

    Oh, and saying that the elbow is “zero” percent of his struggles isn’t the same as saying he’s 100%? I mean aside from regular exhaustion? If its not the elbow, then what could it be? I don’t remember him having this bad a stretch since the LASIK issues a long while ago.

    So yeah, it must be the elbow and he might admit it after the season is over.

  25. @28

    I would expect we’ll get a long, wide-ranging feature/interview piece from DOB in March wherein Freddie admits that the elbow was bothering him.

  26. I doubt it would’ve helped, since rest hasn’t seemed to have helped yet, but if we had won yesterday, Freddie would’ve gotten three days to rest the elbow leading into the NLCS. Obviously, that’s not the case now.

    Though I guess it’s also possible that some of the problem is he’s lost his timing with all the rest, so who knows….

  27. That the Nats are going back to LA tied 4-4 should not escape our attention nor the implications that follow from it.

    There is no way we would beat LA IMO. A level above us. There is though a specific reason the Nats have held them to .500 after 4 games, they have something we don’t have, 2 incredible starting pitchers. This series would have been over possibly if their third guy, Corbin, had not meltrd down in relief.Their arms may be hanging off but the two S’s might just last long enough to steal Game 5. In which case the Braves are in business and en route to the WS.

    We can beat the Nats, we’re better than they are and we have proved it all summer. We cannot beat the Dodgers, see above. So remember to root them on tomorrow. After we’ve bopped the Cards of course.

  28. It’s kind of a no-brainer. He’s a better defender than Joyce, and he hit a homer off Flaherty in game 2. Might as well. Pretty much no downside with how poor Joyce has been offensively.

  29. If we win tomorrow all is forgiven and the slate is clean for the next round. That should be sufficient motiviation, lol.

  30. @27

    Hech is a viable alternative to start tomorrow’s game. Take your pick who he replaces, one of four. Cervelli must start behind the plate or at first base.

  31. @33

    Think on Brave Snit
    his name should be enough
    and damned be he
    who first cries, hold, enough!

  32. ‘There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.

    All the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.’

  33. @36

    Getting carried away with all this bravado. Second line should read..

    his name, the rightest of Right Stuff

  34. To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from minute to minute
    To the last syllable of the NLDS;
    And our hitters yesterday were blighted fools
    Swinging their way to dusty death. Out, out, brief hope!
    Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the field
    And then is heard no more. It is a tale
    Told by Chip, full of sound and fury
    Signifying the offseason.

    I gin to be aweary of the Cards,
    And wish all Goldschmidt’s bats in shards.
    Ring the alarum-bell! Onward, Ronnies, Ozzies, Freddie Frees!
    At least you’ll approach the dish with Kaminski on the keys.

  35. Wish all Goldschmidt’s bats in shards?

    That would give him a 4-4 day with 3 doubles the way things are going ;)

  36. Not starting Freddie would be lunacy (to build on Cliff’s theme). He may be hurt but those are the breaks. I still like his chances of coming up big tomorrow.

  37. Time is fleeting. Now is eternal. Just saying.

    I read somewhere that man is that he might have joy. I think that means my job is to lick the red off the lollipop. We could be Mets fans. Instead we get to lick the sucker we have.

    Enjoy and GO BRAVES!

  38. @10, I saw Kristofferson on tour last year. It was a fine show. He was backed by the late Merle Haggard’s band, the Strangers. He was never known for having the best voice, but it always fit his material; it had diminished some, but still a worthy performance. And those songs…

  39. @10 and 46–I hope the Braves approach tomorrow’s game in a loose and free fashion, since freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose. That’s better than asking “why me Lord?” at every bad break. Still, if this game is as tight as the first four, I’m going to need something to help me through the night.

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