Need I say more? A week ago in this space, one day after Mike Sorokaâ€™s awful injury, I opined that the Braves need not necessarily seek starting pitching on the trade market. With a strong and deep lineup and the best bullpen in the league, they ought to have a winning record–which is enough to make the playoffs. Then, in the crapshoot that is the postseason, anything can happen!
What was I thinking?! OF COURSE the Braves need more starting pitching. Max Fried has been terrific. As to the rest of the starters left standing, can you imagine any of them starting a playoff game?
In tonightâ€™s game, it was Touki Toussaintâ€™s turn to prove he belonged in this rotation. Touki had looked very sharp his last time out. What if I told you that tonight he would give up 4 hits and 1 walk with 3 strikeouts? Youâ€™d be pleased, right? More progress for Touki. Well, Touki left the game after four innings with the Braves trailing 6-0. It wasnâ€™t all Toukiâ€™s faultâ€”there was some shaky defense. On the other hand, he did surrender a 3 run shot to Luke Voit in the first. Three more crossed the plate for the Yankees in the third, two of which on a two run â€œdoubleâ€ that went over the head of our DH Marcel Ozuna. The Mime (thanks, cph) was in right field because Ronald AcuÃ±a Jr. sat this one out with a sore wrist. If RAJâ€™s wrist injury turns out bad as Ozzieâ€™s, I will rapidly lose interest in this season.
After Touki left, Bryse â€œNot the Answerâ€ Wilson gave up two more, including a blast by Aaron Judge that dented the bullpen wall in right field. Luke Jackson gave up another run in the 7th and Josh Tomlin continued his Greg Maddux impersonation with another scoreless frame in the ninth.
The offense made it sort of interesting, but not really. Ozuna hit a 3 run shot in the 6th, and our never say die Braves scored a single run in the 7th and two more in the 8th on doubles by Camargo and Flowers. The late-inning magic ran out at that point; the Braves went meekly in the 9th for a 9-6 Yankee victory.
I watched the game with my son and daughter in law. He is a Braves fan from birth. She has been a Yankee fan just as long. Somehow they make their marriage work. In fact, they just had their first child three weeks agoâ€”a wonderful baby girl. Ordinarily Iâ€™d be feeling pretty sour after a loss like this, especially in the presence of a die-hard Yankees fan. But you know what? I watched the game with a smile on my face, holding my new granddaughter during much of the game. (Thanks to her mother for not dressing her in her Yankees onesie). And my wonderful daughter in law left for part of the game to pick up a terrific dinner to celebrate my birthday. There arenâ€™t many things in life more important than baseball, but some things are.
And itâ€™s a good thing, because this season all of a sudden isnâ€™t looking so promising.
All is not lost. These two teams go again in the Bronx tomorrow, with Tanaka on the mound for the Bombers and someoneâ€”anyone?â€”starting for the Braves.
P.S. Notice the name I gave our Braves in the title? If they are going to change the name, Hammers is the obvious choice. First and foremost, it would honor the greatest Brave of all time (Mr. Aaron richly deserves this!), and with a little tweak the tomahawk logo could be replaced by a hammer, leaving the uniforms looking pretty much as they do now.
Thank you for another beautiful recap, tfloyd. And good job putting things in perspective.
Let’s go get them tomorrow. Maybe Tucker Time?
Happy birthday, tfloyd.
The Mime is spot on.
May as well try Tucker, Timo. Now is a good time for it.
I can pull for the Hammers.
Maybe Tomlin should be a starter.
Holding the new baby – one of life’s greatest, intrinsic pleasures … Congratulations.
On the question of wrists…having two out at once with no ‘at the time’ incidents to be aware of in the field inevitably points to flamboyant base running. Nobody squeezes in runs like Acuna, Ozzie, no one else in the same league. Fancy protective gloves and all can’t defy the costs of contact each and every time.
Solution? There isn’t one. Except. When it doesn’t really matter to the score don’t do it. The cost is too painful. Look at us now.
Congratulations, tfloyd! Can your grandson pitch? I think we might be able to get him a contract.
Also I like your alternative name for the team. Eventually this one will have to go, so you might as well go with something good. To my knowledge, there aren’t any others out there(maybe some coastal junior college as in “hammerheads”). Then you can pit Home Depot and Lowe’s against each other on who wants to sponsor “the Hammers.”
And it is certainly possible that the Braves scouting says that Weigel and Davidson aren’t as good as Bryse Wilson. But it is hard for me to believe that. And if they aren’t better than Bryse, then we need to know to move on.
What you have to understand is that Bryse Wilson is just filler right now as he’s already had his clock started. Today (or tomorrow, waiting for confirmation), is the day that players from the 40-man roster that have not accrued MLB service time, can be brought up to the bigs and keep an extra year of control.
I firmly believe we will be seeing Cristian Pache and Tucker Davidson sooner rather than later.
I should add that the suggestion of the Hammers came from my son.
Also? That Hammer from the tool race can become the new mascot.
8 — If that’s true then I suppose the Tucker Davidson era begins on Sunday.
I had an employer-mandated return-to-work COVID-19 test today. That swab up the nose was ten seconds of hell on earth. Whew.
I can’t decide what I hate more: the swab COVID test or watching a Sean Newcomb start.
Now Rob the swab isn’t that bad.
Maybe I’m strange, but I was fascinated about how completely weird the deep-nasal-passage swab felt… My eyes were bugging & watering, but I thought: Heyyyy, that was a completely new sensation…
Then, they told me they had to do the other nostril. My fascination immediately ceased…
Gosh, that made me laugh!
Today’s transactions will be telling. If Bryse Wilson is optioned for generic reliever, then generic reliever would likely be optioned back to camp after the game, then Friday, we’d see the real option emerge.
Give -clap- Me -clap- PACHE! -clap-
Near as I can tell, even after last night, Touki is our #2 starter.
As I like to say, the trouble with having (insert stupid number of pitchers, in this case 15) is that sooner or later, you will use them. Snitker is going to have to get creative. You can’t keep running out your 14th or 15th guy in the 1st and 2nd innings (looking at Wright and Wilson, and realistically, whoever is the next guy up.)
Tomlin, Matzek, even Minter, Greene, Smith or other higher leverage guys would be better than what we are doing, and I’m not talking about filling only 1 spot. But to be fair to Snit, if you’ve only got one guy you can count on to eat 5 innings, no matter how you organize it you’re going to be a bind trying to get through a series.
This team would be better having Fried and then having openers the other 4 days.
All of the SP outside of Fried stink and even Touki is probably below average. I haven’t seen his FIP etc.
Wilson and Wright are chaff. Wilson with no redeeming value, Wright, some org
might think they can Rockin’ Leo him into something.
The franchise is in trouble long term and it probably needs to begin ID’ing hitting prospects to be used as trade bait for pitching.
The Braves are bad at developing pitching and if I were AA I would clean house on the entire miLB instructional side of the pitching house. It’s time.
‘You can tell it to the Judge in the morning.’
But not to worry about today, he will not be in attendance.
Great piece by Jeremy Timmerman and game thread.