Their timing was off by twenty-eight years, but the Braves took a series from the Blue Jays.
The bats were mostly cold, but that’s mostly universal. In the first-ever year with no pitchers hitting, the collective major league batting line is .232/.312/.396, which is notably worse than Ender Inciarte’s career triple slash.
(Note: I said his career triple slash, which is .285/.338/.389. This year, he’s hitting .188/.316/.250, which is grounds for alimony.)
So nobody’s hitting, and last night was basically a pitcher’s duel between their top dog â€” Nate Pearson, nasty â€” and Touki Toussaint, who’s been on the cusp for so long that a few of us have probably given up on him more than once.
But Touki was legitimately masterful. As Keith Law wrote:
Toussaint was 93-95 mph with a very effective split-change anywhere from 83-88 mph and two breaking balls, a short slider at 83-87 mph and a two-plane curveball at 74-79 mph, giving up just a few hard-hit balls, including a homer to Bo Bichette on a curveball he left up. The best news on Toussaintâ€™s outing is how much he was in the strike zone, throwing 71 percent of his pitches for strikes, although Iâ€™d give his control a full grade above his command. This is the guy his believers all thought he could be when he was a first-rounder in 2014, translating his athleticism into more consistency with his delivery and his stuff. One outing doesnâ€™t make a pitcher, but this is the longest Toussaintâ€™s ever pitched in the majors without walking a batter, and that seems like a positive indicator that he can keep his control up.
Brian Snitker pulled a Grady Little and sent him out for a 7th inning he had no business starting, and he clearly didn’t have it, and a 3-1 lead turned into a 3-3 tie. The pen held it there, though, and up to the plate strode Nick Markakis, a player I have written off no fewer than seven hundred times:
Go back to Buffalo, Blue Jays!
Masterful, AAR. Onward to Philly!
Just gonna leave this here…
Alex, are you a Joe Abercrombie fan?
Thank you for the recap.
No, actually! Who is he?
By the way, in excellent but unrelated news: Evan Patterson’s great Louisville band Jaye Jayle just released their latest album, Prisyn, today. And it’s Bandcamp Friday, so if you buy music on the platform, Bandcamp is waiving its revenue share and all that good money goes to the musicians.
A British fantasy author. Wizard’s First Law was a trilogy, one book of which was Best Served Cold. He has written much since then, but the Bloody Nine is still one of my all time favorite characters.
Good to know, thanks!
I’m a Joe Abercrombie fan!
To the Braves Journal family:
Thank you very much for the donation in memory of my father. My family and I really appreciate your kind generosity. Dad was a Braves fan, and the most memorable event from our time watching games together is the last inning of the 1992 NLCS. I think we woke the neighbors.
Per the esophageal constriction news on Chris Martin…
Hey, I had esophageal constriction! I couldn’t pitch, either.
Hey crew, Iâ€™m going to put up a post about it tomorrow, but bravesjournal.com has expired. Weâ€™ve been able to forward over from there for years, but since it has expired, Iâ€™ll be looking into purchasing the domain as it will not forward from there anymore. Long story short, we donâ€™t know whoâ€™s been paying for bravesjournal.com, but theyâ€™ve kept it active for years. We suspect itâ€™s a family member of Macâ€™s, but not sure.
Now that itâ€™s up for grabs, I put a claim on it.
This goes back to cost. Buying a domain is cheap, for the most part, but buying a domain that just came available is not.
Whether itâ€™s $3, $5, $10, or $20 (or even a one time donation) Patreon commitment , please consider supporting Braves Journal.
How will it affect his voice? Will it delay the release of the next album?
I always said Ryan Cothran was s man of refined tastes.
Good job on claiming Mac’s trove.
Best to you & yours.
I remember that moment well: After Sid slid, I almost ran thru a glass door in my railroad apartment. After Frank Cabrera came thru, anything seemed possible.
And here’s El Capitan, a great new album from Will Johnson, formerly of Centro-matic (a band I miss like mad). Wonderful, emotive, acoustic material. He’s a hardcore Cardinals fan, but we’ll forgive him — he’s a helluva songwriter.
He’s also a terrific painter & he has a series of baseball-related paintings that are really cool (and relatively affordable).
Just watched the game – I’m glad Touki can pitch “backwards” as needed, but I’m more glad when he doesn’t have to. Good stuff.
Tonight is postponed so the decision about a fifth starter can be postponed. Only for a day, though. Double header this Sunday.
Now we get to play one of those weird, 7-inning, minor-league doubleheaders…
When it looked like last night might go to extras, I started musing on the runner-on-second rule, and I wondered whether, using that rule, Fredi’s preference for not using his closer on the road in the 9th inning of a tie game might finally be a good percentage play. If your closer is a Kimbrel type with lots of strikeouts and your 8th inning setup man has a good ERA but fewer strikeouts, it seems like the strikeouts would be even more valuable in the 10th than the 9th because they’ll prevent the runner from advancing. In order to win the game, you’ll have to pitch both innings anyway, so it might be better to use the strikeout pitcher when his strikeouts are most valuable. Shouldn’t be too hard to model the decision, not that I want to do it right now.
@14 Thank you and well done, Ryan.
On the face of it it does not sound like a good idea to me for any one individual to obtain ownership of our domain name. Up the road one can anticipate possible problems.
Why not rather create some form of communal entity to which all who want to can subscribe? So that I propose is what we do.
Timo, thanks for the support!
Just wanted to let everyone know that donated $ for flowers for DGâ€™s dad, due to some restrictions, there were no flowers allowed for the funeral so I just forwarded the donation to help with funeral expenses. Here was his response for everyoneâ€™s generosity:
â€œI love the Braves Journal family. Thanks again for the donation. My stepmom will really appreciate it. â¤ï¸â€œ
Then that is the date on which all interests (competitive, developmental, financial) converge on bringing him up being the best course of action.
Also interesting to see what theyâ€™ll do with Ender. Right now, heâ€™s a very expensive 4th OFer.
What are the realistic options for Ender? If Atlanta just releases him, I assume the contracted dollars must be paid. Can he be traded on a you can have him if you assume all/most/a tiny bit of his salary with no return consideration, save the salary relief?
I do not see many teams willing to surrender much of value. Perhaps a bad contract swap?
I like trading him for a bad contract swap for a starting pitcher.
BUT, let’s say you call Pache up. He’s not a day 1 starter. He’s going to need time. Do you let him get 40 PAs between August 31st and then make your decision? Is that enough time?
Personally, I don’t see the big issue with keeping him as an expensive 4th outfielder. If he can return to league average against righties and still play decent centerfield defense, then he has a lot of value. Maybe not WAR-to-dollars value, but on this team, with two very young outfielders, I think he has a lot of value. And plus, with how bad Ozuna and Markakis are in LF, wouldn’t you love to have Ender/Pache/Acuna as your defensive outfield in the late innings?
“Heâ€™s not a day 1 starter.”
This is where the Markakis return complicates matters. He’s one more veteran to mollify on the way to doing what needs to be done — at least Schebler was not owed any particular consideration in re playing time. Meanwhile, an elite glove at a premium position plays at any level.
You’re probably right. But then, if we didn’t score in the 10th, he still wouldn’t have pitched Kimbrel and would’ve thrown in an even worse reliever for an even more high-pressure situation.
Itâ€™s hitting me that the Braves are at a bit of a disadvantage in the new doubleheader model, considering our pen is so stout and our offense likes to punish late game pitching.
Great point. Seven inning games could negate the strength of our bullpen. OTOH, if we have starters that canâ€™t get out of the third or fourth inning, a seven inning game looks pretty good.
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