Braves Game Thread: Game 1 Wildcard vs. Reds

It’s that time, ladies and gents. The Braves will face off against Trevor Bauer in Game 1 of Wild Card Series. Max Fried will toe the rubber and looking to make the Braves 1-0. A few notes:

This would imply that Luke Jackson has not made the squad and that makes me happy. I feel like this also means that Tyler Flowers will likely catch 1 game and Travis d’Arnaud will DH one game (likely tomorrow). Speaking of happy….

If we are to believe that being provided a playoff jersey means that one has made the playoff team, Cristian Pache has made the club! Exciting! I guess it could also be that he just made the taxi squad, but with 15 position players, it seems plausible.

It’s a new year…and hopefully a new outcome. Oddly, I’m more confident in this team and their chances than I’ve been in over a decade. Get it, boys!

Author: Ryan Cothran

Ryan is the site editor and manager of Braves Journal. Follow him on Twitter.

273 thoughts on “Braves Game Thread: Game 1 Wildcard vs. Reds”

  1. I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised. That is probably the exact optimal 28 man roster and I didn’t think that would happen.

  2. To go with Pache instead of Ender is an almost unbelievably good decision. And Culberson over Hech – I like it. Good karma. Go Braves!

  3. Pre-game domestic dialog…

    ‘ I thought you said Justin was a good pitcher?’

    ‘Looking older though’ .

  4. Also, no Touki, Newk, Huascar, Sobotka.

    But I’m confused. If Contreras, Panda, Pache, Culby, Camargo are added and Jackson, Hech, Ender, and Davidson are subtracted, who was the fifth subtraction?

    This is about the best way the playoff roster could be constructed. One might argue the merits of Dayton over Huascar, but that’s a nit.

  5. The last playoff game I recapped was over in the top of the 1st. I feel like if I can get farther than that I’m making progress.

  6. I think the roster seems to confirm a “mind meld” between Snitker and the analytic people in the FO. And some of that may be just Snit watching the “sign / no sign” decisions. They bring in JD and he goes off. They don’t resign JD. JD is hurt all over again for Twins. They sign Ozuna and he exceeds JD (at the plate). All of the reliever signings have pretty much panned out. Hamels did not, but that is not a bad record for “these geeks no what they are doing.”

  7. Ugh, can we just get a friggin inning played before falling behind?
    Edit: one more, c’mon
    Edit2: thank you!!!

  8. @18, Why yes….yes we can.

    I’d say the Reds have come into this game with an aggressive approach at the plate. Fried faced five batters in that inning and threw just nine pitches.

  9. I don’t have cable, so I can’t watch any of the postseason and I’ll be on the radio feed. MLB’s blackout policy is the worst.

    DAMN IT!

  10. I guess they don’t plan on getting Bauer’s pitch count up. That’s a bold strategy, Cotton, let’s see if it pays off for them.

  11. Prior to 1 p.m., we seem to have a bizarre reverse shadow problem at Truist Park. The standard shadow issue comes when the batter’s eye (or pitcher) is in sunlight and the batter is in the shade. Playing a game this early, apparently the infield is in sunlight and the batter’s eye/outfield are in the shade.

  12. You could also go for a free trial of a live streaming service (YouTube TV, Hulu Live, etc.), though thinking optimistically, that’ll only get you through this week and you’ll need to find another solution for the Division Series.

  13. We are not behind! Senzel is their Nick Esasky but still around if pretty ineffectual. Fried’s slow curve is in lollipop territory. But the nerves have gone, happily.

  14. For 2 decades Atlanta fans can’t show up to playoff games. Then, in the middle of a pandemic, they manage to show up and sit way too close outside the stadium?

    Zut alores.

  15. Yeah, this should be “call stands.”

    And is.

    Matt Vasgersian saying that, as close as it was, it’s not a bad challenge by David Bell. I say it is a bad challenge, because you should know that you’re tossing a challenge straight into the trash can given how they always adjudicate plays like that.

  16. Duvall has been struggling since mid september.
    Anyway, good to see replay wasn’t a complete farce that time.

  17. Maybe Ozzie shouldn’t have stolen a base. We can’t hit with runners in scoring position.

  18. They’re just taking pitches down the middle and swinging at stuff outside. Seems about right for braves postseason play.

  19. Bauer is cruising and Max is working for it. But he’s showing that next level of mental toughness that he displayed all season — he’s not locating perfectly and he’s had some ducks on the pond, but he’s bearing down and he’s tossing up the exact same goose eggs.

  20. @50 Mentioning that name in October should be a bannable offense. You’re lucky it’s still September. ;)

  21. Ozzie and Freddie alone are making some sense of Bauer who frazzles the others. Oz has a technique with his curve ball where he ‘follows’ it all the way down to make contact at the last moment. 3 times his last at bat.

  22. Fried quietly matching Bauer, and has thrown 10 less pitches total while having one more inning pitched.

  23. I’ll resurrect a better memory of Braves 90’s postseason: Fried is looking like Steve Avery in 1991.

  24. I can’t believe I’m saying this (especially since I can’t stand him) but ARod has improved in the booth.

    Now if we could stop striking out…grrr!

  25. Omg, Duvall saving the game with that assist.

    Of course it came after a infield single and a dp ball that wasnt due to bad positioning.

  26. Since Chip is not calling the game I’ll say it: productive out by Freeman.

    Edit—pop up by the Mime. Given our trouble scoring runners from third, Freddie’s groundout is a whole lot less productive than an rbi single would have been.

  27. High strike outs and can’t get a man in from 3rd with less than 2 outs. I know it’s Bauer, but this is the frustrating Braves playing today, not the mashers.

  28. I’m anticipating some combination of BS and bad luck to screw us over this inning after choking on offense.

    Bauer is going 8 innings, Iglesias the 9th

  29. 1) We are just flat guessing. And not correctly.

    2) I wonder why we haven’t seemingly considered just approaching a sac fly situation like a normal at-bat, at this point.

  30. There’s a reason we only have two hits — we haven’t been good at situational hitting because we haven’t been good at hitting period.

    Still, I think the Braves could have a much better approach with runners on. I know that no one chokes up any more, but strikeouts and popups are a lot more harmful with a man on third than with no one on, and I wish our hitters appeared to take that into account.

  31. Here it comes, Aquino cant hit a curve , he gets a fastball for some reason and broken bat bloops it. Now a HBP.
    The bullpen isnt ready even though fried has thrown 6 innings in the last month.

    Now get a DP ball and make me shut up, please.

    Now the dp isnt turned . Nice amount of BS, as predicted.

  32. Feels like Max has been pitching backwards a lot with a lot of early breaking balls. Is that just me?

  33. Attention Reds: The chickencrap high school first-and-third play probably isn’t gonna work in the majors!

  34. Well, Bauer’s a Pierzynski-sized heel, but I’d open up the checkbook and pay the man his money. Get it done, Wren!

  35. @108 he has today a few times, and they have been popped up.

    So today has been a case of :

    10% bad strike zone
    45% bad hitting approach
    30% trevor bauer
    10% missing hittable stuff
    5% weird shadows

  36. GAHHHH this game is stressful! I’ll take a win however we can get it.

    Bauer’s gonna get a lot of money from somebody next year, but it’s not going to be from the Braves (and I’ll be happy about that). He’s a very good pitcher but I just can’t stand the SOB.

  37. In case you’re wondering, yes it has been worse. Tim Lincecum struck out 14 Braves in Game 1 in 2010.
    Of course, that lineup included Brooks Conrad, Rick Ankiel, and a pitcher, sooo…

  38. I’m okay with Captain Hook yanking Max right here. When he doesn’t have any more, he doesn’t have any more.

  39. He’s a yard rat. He worked, and worked, and worked, and turned himself from below-average to above-average with the glove — like Marcus Giles. He deserves all the credit.

  40. Bauer is the kind of jackass who spent his whole life wondering why everyone doesn’t think he’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, and he’s turned it into a “I’ll show you”/martyr complex. Good for him for using pine tar this year to get better results, but no thank you to having to look at that mug every summer.

  41. Bauer’s not gonna face Acuna, I don’t think.

    A-Rod thinks he will, but doesn’t think they’ll let him get to Ozuna, apparently.

    Ha! Take that, A-Rod! I was right!

  42. This is 1000% right. But, as with my favorite Ozzie Guillen quote about A.J. Pierzynski:

    “If you play against him, you hate him. If you play with him, you hate him a little less.”

  43. @121

    Probably lefty since we didn’t score there?

    On the other hand, I’m guessing the real-world answer will be Melancon.

  44. Love Ronald, but he’s gotta work over the winter on the fastball right down the middle. Too many whiffs.

  45. Nice hook from Melancon today.

    I’ll say this for him… he ain’t scary, but he does throw strikes.

    No more torture. Let’s win this damn thing… Freddie?

  46. Not a fan of the fresh prince in this situation…..HR prone

    Yankees can tee off against Beiber, and braves can’t touch Bauer.disappointing.

  47. Hopefully Will Smith is rounding into form just in time. And hopefully we’ll get to take advantage of that past this week.

    @139, The possibility does exist that Bauer pitched really well and Bieber did not.

  48. @139 Frankly, if you would have told me before the game that we’d get to extras facing Bauer (who’s been the best in the NL this year) I would have taken it. It’s been painful to watch the Braves at the plate today, but we’re up in the 10th with a chance to walk it off. The longer this goes the better the Braves’ chances are – the Reds’ pen isn’t as deep as ours and our offense is better.

  49. @144 well sure, all things considered , I’m happy we’re tied.
    I had hoped that bauers numbers were a product of the weak comperition he faced.

    Here comes Sims, are the reds trying to rub it in our faces?

  50. Good to know other team’s Braves farm hands can’t throw strikes any better than our Braves farm hands.

  51. We have just completely abandoned our approach that worked during the regular season. Swinging at absolutely everything. Immediately 0-2.

  52. The braves aren’t cursed, this is some kind of franchise malfunction, I don’t know if its on the managerial level, conditioning or what.

  53. Bad Riley is back. Bad Duvall is back. They both need to go back to what they learned last year and in the offseason and re-apply it.

  54. anyone want to look up how many sacrifice bunts Arod has had in his career (I would venture to say you can count on one hand)? ……I would love for the Braves to bunt too, but the topic is getting old.

  55. It felt like 50% of Bauers pitches tonight were in the same spot, low, first base side. And no one bothered to sit on that the entire game.

  56. The ahem striking thing to me is that the Braves haven’t really hit into bad luck at all… they’re just making poor decisions at the plate with bad execution to boot.

  57. Did Seitzer hit the showers already in disgust? Isn’t that why you have a hitting coach?

    From what I remember of his playing days, he would have had at least a hit in this game (even now at his age.)

  58. @156: I call it “championship DNA” — some have it, most don’t. The Braves definitely don’t. There’s definitely some organizational dysfunction when it comes to postseason performance.

  59. @162

    Yep. Being happy to compete vs. trying to win. Bigger picture.

    Also, all these takes about AROD not bunting much are bad. Really bad.

  60. Braves playoff game checklist:

    Assigned the earliest game start time: Check.
    Match up against the year’s best pitcher in the league: Check.
    All the bats go cold: Check.
    Questionable strike calls: Check.
    Some empty seats in the stadium: Check.

  61. I actually agree with Chief here. He was never asked to bunt. That doesn’t necessarily invalidate his opinion if he thinks some folks should have the skill in their bag. It’s not like he’s complaining about Freeman or Ozuna not bunting.

  62. I too was expecting the Bases loaded BB, but a one two three punch out!! Gotta love this bullpen. And Matzek especially. I think he’s over the yips.

  63. Years ago I bought a Francoeur T-shirt. I chucked it in the trash by his 3rd year. Have been afraid to invest in player apparel since. If a Brave calls game and goes yard here, I will buy their jersey today.

  64. Epitome of a selfish play in the 11th inning of a playoff game. We need base runners and not dudes trying to play hero

  65. Ronald just missed missed a fastball right down the middle. That’s not selfish. Given how everyone else is hitting, the chance of a long ball there is worth taking.

  66. Is this the most pathetic Braves playoff offensive performance or is there a more pathetic one from yesteryear?

  67. Beat up on mediocre pitching all year, score 1/5 of your runs in one game and have 1.5 SP.

    Just get it over with.

  68. @182 “just missed” the fastball is awfully generous. “Just missed” should involve the baseball going a long way, even if it’s just a towering flyball to an outfielder.

  69. @183 Getting shut out by Randy Johnson and Tim Lincecum when they were at the tops of their games. But neither of those Braves lineups had the talent of this 2020 team.

  70. @182 I would’ve preferred the walk-stolen base and try to single him in rather than swing off your heels and pop up to the infield

  71. The Braves should have scored a GD run hours ago. It’s a shame only Freddie and Ozzie decided to show up today from the position player side.

  72. After that performance by Matzek to get out of the jam, if the Braves don’t end this in the bottom of the frame, they deserve to lose.

  73. So Greene in the 13th, Minter in the 14th, Webb in the 15th, Dayton in the 16th, then turn it over to Tomlin?

  74. These guys better prove me wrong. I was at the last World Series game played in Atlanta, so I’d like to see them get back there, even in a weird season like this.

  75. The Reds are quietly (from our perspective) having an even more Braves-like postseason offensive performance than we are.

  76. The Reds are going to win this. The Braves’ offense looks like you can give them 25 innings and they won’t score a run. The Reds will eventually get one in.

  77. That was a break. I almost feel like the Reds should score and then our bats will wake up for some late inning magic. Foolish, I know…

  78. @221 Votto was afraid of Rileys cat-like reflexes over there, lol.

    This is it . now is when the dam finally breaks.

  79. Braves really gonna follow up the worst playoff pitching performance ever the very next game with the worst playoff hitting performance ever.

  80. I think we’re at the point where fans really deserve answers as to why this team is such a sack of sh*t in the playoffs.

  81. This game has lasted so long it’s gone from the weird reverse shadows to the standard-order shadows…which I’m sure will make our job easier here BTW.

  82. Whoo! Man, I’m exhausted.

    Side note: Cristian Pache, who scored the winning run, was not quite 3 years old the last time the Braves won a game 1 of a postseason series.

  83. I don’t know how, but thank God we pulled that out.

    I maintain that as the ultimate Braves playoff loss by the Reds. Joey Votto freezing for no reason in the 13th cost them huge.

  84. Just got to my computer and reading the comments after the game. I see the majority of you guys were optimistic that the Braves would win the whole time. (-:

  85. Even with the Fullpacks, the bullpen is being worth its cost. The run we scored was basically off Bradley who is no slouch. For all the frustration of watching Riley hit today, he got a key hit in the last rally and played GG defense all day. All the folks who once complained about his defense need to come up for some crow as he’s been rated positively at both 3B and LF. Some very athletic plays and every throw was exactly the same bullet in the same place every time.

    At any rate, there a lot of good takeaways from this game not including the fact that we won, which is unusual in and of itself.

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