Braves 7, Marlins 0 – Braves Movin’ On… Again

I get to tell you something that we haven’t heard since 2001: the Braves have won a National League Division Series. And regardless of what happens from here, no one can take that away. After being the better team on paper for many a series only to leave with nothing, this year’s team was decidedly better than its opponent, and it showed very clearly on the field.

This game was the perfect exclamation point to this three-game sweep. The starting pitcher — the spot on the roster where we have been most concerned — shoved for six innings. Kyle Wright, making his first postseason start of his career, only gave up five baserunners while striking out seven in six scoreless innings. And the Braves scored enough runs early that we were then able to go to the “B” squad of the bullpen, and they dealt scoreless innings as well. Combined, AJ Minter, Jacob Webb, and Shane Greene gave up 2 hits and no runs in their three innings of work. 15 times in this series a pitcher was called to the mound — starter or reliever — and only twice did that pitcher allow a run (Fried and Melancon in game 1). To bring a guy on the mound 13 times — the game of Roulette that can be — and give up nothing is incredible.

The hero of the series is Travis d’Arnaud and his 2.092 OPS, and he put in work today. After Marcell Ozuna got the scoring started, d’Arnaud plated two with a 3rd inning double. At the middle of every rally this series was Travis d’Arnaud. I had a few Rays fans texting me, “You know where he got his career going again, right?” Yes, and the Mets gave him up. Love it. Not far behind in heroism was Dansby Swanson, who hit 2 home runs in the series and knocked in two more runs today with a triple.

If there was a series that would make you confident going into a Championship Series tilt with a juggernaut like the Dodgers, this was it. I don’t know what the future holds, I don’t knock if we can stack up, but I know that this team played probably its best postseason series since the 1995 World Series. We’ve waited a long time for this, and I hope you enjoy it. 

77 thoughts on “Braves 7, Marlins 0 – Braves Movin’ On… Again”

  1. The award doesn’t exist, but I think we should give Travis an unofficial NLDS MVP for his completely absurd performance in this series.

  2. Believe it was Fried and Martin in game 1. Thanks for the recap!

    Folks, I’m verklempt. I have no idea I we can win any games off the Dodgers, but I’m excited to see them try.

  3. True Story: After yesterday’s game, a Mets fan (and my workplace is full of them) came into my office and said, “I’m sorry, but Travis d’Arnaud sucks!”

    My response: “Not anymore… apparently, all he had to do was put on a different uniform.”

  4. Perspective – or as much as you can have with 6 Estrella and wine with dinner…

    Would we, as ardent fans, have taken the ceiling at NLCS pre- season?

    Post Soroka Achilles (get well next year) what would we have taken?

    The kids are alright, the bullpen is awesome, what is there to lose? We can score in bunches from nowhere

    If the state of Texas finest can sing
    Mind your own biscuits and life will be gravy, then so be it

    I’m looking forward to sleep deprivation next week . As Kacey says, It’ll all be alright

  5. Y’know, Travis was really pretty okay in New York, he just had more medical bills than Pete Reiser. I’m wondering if the Braves medical staff has actually gotten markedly better since back when we led the world in Tommy Johns.

  6. The post season could not have gone any better for the Braves so far. Been a long time since I could say that. Because of the shortened season and how the brackets worked out, the LCS in both leagues will have a little bit of a World-Series-before-interleague-play feel to it. Can’t wait for it to get started.

  7. The only thing I remember about d’Arnaud when he was with the Mets is Andrelton robbing him twice on balls hit into the hole with jump throws to 1B.

  8. I haven’t written here for a long time but all I want to say is thank you AA. Thank you Snit. I love you guys more than I ever loved JS and Bobby.

    In AA I trust.

  9. What a great season. No matter what happens in the NLCS, the Braves have made me proud. I love this team.

  10. Payrolls
    Los Angeles Dodgers ($105.5 mil)
    Atlanta Braves ($65.3 mil)

    If we lose to them, this will of course be one of the reasons why.

    Oh, and
    Tampa Bay Rays ($28.6 mil)

    If it’s not going to the braves, you’ve gotta root for those guys

  11. I’ve been a reader/lurker/sorta commenter on this website for 20 years. Thank you Rob, Ryan, AAR and all the fantastic writers for keeping this going. I sure do wish Mac was around, but I also know Mac is always around. Thanks everybody and Go Braves!!

  12. @5: Actual email correspondence with a long-time Mets fan (MF)

    MF: I can count on one pinky the number of clutch hits d’Arnaud had as a Met. Over six years.

    JF: Don’t give someone with access to databases that challenge: Here are his top 6 WPA performances for the Mets. [followed by list]

    MF: Facts are overrated.

  13. If we could fully harness Mets self-loathing as a power source, I think we could probably light up half the Eastern Seaboard. What a potent renewable resource.

  14. It was indeed Martin. Rats. Thanks guys.

    I know IWOTM, but we just won a division series. We didn’t choke. The bats didn’t go cold. Great starting pitchers didn’t lay eggs. Folk heroes didn’t kick ground balls and drop pop ups. We just took care of business. That’s so refreshing.

    Does anyone know why Dustin May only went one inning today for LA?

  15. @16

    They’re trying the same overmanaging and IMO chickencrap strategy that the Yankees thought was such a brilliant idea last night. Try to trick the opponent by claiming that somebody is your starter and then (SURPRISE!!!) they only go an inning.

    In all honesty, I would be deeply in favor of MLB implementing a rule that the announced starting pitcher has to either a) go at least one time through the order; or b) has to be declared as an opener at the time that you announce him as the starter and can’t go more than one inning. It would tie the hands of managers somewhat, as they would on a rare occasion have to watch their ineffective starter burn the house down before they could take him out, but I don’t much care. I personally think this strategy of declaring a starting pitcher and then pulling the rug out is just BS.

  16. I love that we actually won a dang series so we don’t have to obsess over some star’s bad performance. Freddie was not good this series. But it’s ok because other players stepped up, we won the series, so it doesn’t matter that Freddie wasn’t playing well. Because now Freddie might carry the team through the NLCS, and d’Arnaud or Dansby cool off.

    The starting pitching is giving me some irrational hope. If Wright and Anderson can resemble their NLDS performances, then we have a real shot at the Dodgers. Gosh, I need to dial this back. There is only pain and suffering with this attitude.

  17. In the postgame presser, Freeman was raving about Ian Anderson’s maturity, saying there’s something “different” about him. High praise.

  18. @17, sounds like we’ll have to agree to disagree, but the Rays have been doing this all along — I don’t think they’re trying to fooling anyone, they’re just employing a strategy just like defensive positioning. When you throw a reliever to face the first three hitters, and then you bring in a long man, you can upset the other team’s lineup planning. Personally, I think the emphasis on a “true starter” is often misguided, as you’ve often heard me say — I think that if a guy only has four good innings, there’s no reason to push him out in the fifth when he’s gassed. And it doesn’t particularly matter to me if he pitches the first through the fourth or the third through the sixth.

    I watched a lot of the Yankees-Rays game, and neither of these teams terrifies me. The Rays seem like a really patchwork crew, and in a way, the Yankees are too. I think we can outhit both of them. We always knew the National League pennant went through the Dodgers, but I’ll take our chances against any of the teams out there.

  19. Hosmer, Tatis, Machado, and Myers hit about a combined .150. Been there, Pads fans. Been there.

  20. So who’s our opener in game 4? I’d guess Ynoa then Tomlin (have we seen him at all this postseason?)

  21. Planning to get 5-6 innings from Ynoa/Tomlin sounds like our best Game 4 plan. I can’t even imagine what we’d do for Game 5.

    I’m wondering if they’ll reshuffle the lineup a little bit and actually get another pitcher. I might consider something like sending down Duvall and bringing in another arm. The thought of pitching seven days in a row with Johnny Wholestaff on the hook each game is really daunting.

  22. Glad they didn’t mortgage the farm for pitching down the stretch. It was clear to most seasoned observers that this staff as constituted would soon invite comparisons to Christy Mathewson and Iron Man Joe McGinnity.

  23. I am proud of our team and am grateful for what they have done, but oh! I want so much more.

    Nice post, Rob. Thank you.

  24. Creative Department here, your thoughts please. This is not meant to be funny!

    8/10 year contracts…as per Ronald and Oz.

    Soroca/Fried………………….. Acuna
    Anderson/Wright…………….. Oz

    1 million signing bonus, additional, day one.
    TJS absences specifically covered. in full.

    Compare 18 million to Hamels.

    Who loves you, baby!

  25. @27 – I think Dave Roberts is going to have a more difficult time managing his bullpen over a 7 game series than Snitker, due to the the Braves depth. Dodger starters are typically going 6 innings or fewer, which isn’t a whole lot better than us. For sure, it will be helpful to get more than 4 or 5 innings out of Fried and Anderson before looking into the abyss, though. But I think we should be able to get to the Dodgers bullpen given a long enough series.

    It will be interesting to see how Snitker will manage the bullpen in the NLCS. He has shown he will stomp your neck with a lead but might punt on a deficit, and he may do that here to much consternation. He may feel he just needs to get the lead 4 times and that may work.

    I don’t see Duvall going anywhere; maybe Pache.

  26. Game 4: I’m guessing Bryce Wilson. His last two starts covered 8 innings, with only one run allowed. Not a great choice, but better than the alternatives. Short leash, then go to Tomlin.

  27. @34

    Wise words, Rusty.

    FWIW, every time I see the name Roberts in a baseball context I think of that stolen base of his for Boston which took all of us by surprise and without which their historic ignominy might have been extended forever.

  28. @22

    I’m definitely open to suggestions for tweaking my rule. Openers are not at all my preferred strategy, but I’m not trying to outlaw openers that the other team knows are openers. My issue is naming a guy that everyone knows to be a starting pitcher as a starter for the sole purposes of immediately pulling him and putting in a guy who throws with the opposite hand. It just strikes me as underhanded and kind of a d-bag maneuver.

    Perhaps my rule is a bit too harsh in implementation. Maybe the two choices should be that if you declare him a normal starter, he has to go at least one time through the order unless he gives up a run, in which case you can take him out. And if you declare him an opener, he’s not limited to an inning but he can’t go more than one time through the order. Something like that. I’m open to suggestion, but it’s the “ha…gotcha!!!” aspect of what’s being done now that irritates me.

    And I can hear folks saying now that there are plenty of d-bag maneuvers that aren’t and shouldn’t be against the rules. But I would counter that there are plenty that should be and are eventually made so.

  29. I don’t think the May scenario is even what you are referring to. May already pitched 2 innings Tuesday, so no way he was going more than 2 or 3 on Thursday.

    For the record, I am just fine with naming a starter and letting them go however long and pulling them, it can just as easily backfire like it did to the Yanks in game 2.

  30. Fitting that it’s Atlanta vs. LA in the NLCS.

    From 2018-2020 here are the cumulative regular season records of NL teams:

    LA 241-143
    Atl 222-162
    Mil 214-170
    ChC 213-171
    Stl 209-173
    Was 201-183
    Az 192-191
    NYM 189-195
    Phi 189-195
    Col 188-196
    SF 179-205
    Cin 173-211
    SD 173-211
    Pit 170-213
    Mia 151-232

  31. Mookie Betts
    some say this is as good as it gets
    but we say we’re not going to pander, son
    just wait till you face Ian Anderson.

  32. @39 I wouldn’t have bet that Milwaukee was third. Pretty crazy that the team with the 6th-best record is the only one with a ring during that time.

  33. The Dodgers sure have been good for the past decade-plus.

    They’ve won 2 pennants & 10 of the last 13 NL West titles, including the last 8 in a row. They’ve gone 10-9 in playoff series (47-40 in post-season games), but just can’t seem to win their final game. (Sound familiar?)

    And, they have lost to the eventual WS champion in each of the past 4 years. (Why not help make it 5?)

    I don’t necessarily buy into the idea of one club feeling more pressure than the other, but…

  34. The passing of Whitey Ford, preceded in the past month by the deaths of Bob Gibson and Lou Brock, brings back even more of my earliest baseball memories, that of the 1964 World Series. I had commented a little while back about how Gibson went 10 innings for the win in game 5, and then went the distance to win game 7 on two days rest. I was struggling to remember Whitey Ford in that series; turns out he left game 1 with an injury and did not appear again in the Series.
    Ford had been the best pitcher in baseball for the previous decade. The Yankees’ loss that year was really the end of the road for Ford and Mantle. By 1966 the Bronx Bombers had plummeted to last place. Gibson, Brock, and the Cards were dominant for the next several years.

  35. The Dodgers are stacked and have clearly been the best team this season. We are heavy underdogs.

  36. @43: My very first baseball memory (and one of very few preBraves baseball memories) was October 10, 1964, 56 years ago tomorrow. My family was at a party at the Alexander’s house that day and the game was on the television. Mickey Mantle’s walkoff off Barney Schultz was magical…. at least to an eight year old. The Alexanders shortly thereafter sold their land off to the folks that built Phipps Plaza; the house remained for many years before finally being torn down. Every time I pass Phipps Plaza I think of Mickey Mantle….. Probably the only person to do so.

  37. @44 we sure are, and i am good with that! et LA feel the pressure of being the favorites, once again.

  38. Yeah, it’s much easier to be the underdogs than the overdogs… then again, they’re the overdogs for a reason. They’ve got a hell of a team, even if they have a familiar knack for underachieving in October. The whipping they gave San Diego was no joke. They outscored ’em 23-9, and overall they’ve outscored opponents 30-11 during this postseason.

    End of the day, it’s going to come down to a little bit of magic and a whole lot of luck. But if we can stay in the game for the first six innings, I like our chances a whole lot.

  39. It’s one thing for this rotation to be lights out against the Reds and Marlins, and it’s entirely another to keep the Dodger offense down.

  40. Just ordered that book on your recommendation, ububba. I find some great baseball reading from this place, so thanks.

    On the Dodgers, I’m trying to see how our rotation stacks up. One assumes the following:

    Game 1: Kershaw vs. Fried
    Game 2: Buhler vs. Anderson
    Game 3: May vs. Wright
    Game 4: Urias vs. Bryce Wilson/bullpen game???

    Surely we get at least one of those games, if not more. That takes us to game 5. I think you have to start Fried on 3 days rest. Kershaw’s not getting any younger so maybe they hold him back, especially with a lead? They can go with a 5th starter if they want, but we don’t have that luxury. So maybe we go into game 6 down 3-2. Then it’s Anderson on short rest vs. Kershaw on full rest. It’s now getting tough, even though we’ve seen that Jethro can do it. If he can, that pulls us into game 7 with Buhler vs. Wright should we win that match up. The no days off thing really messes us up.

    That said, the Dodgers may be a great team and a tricky bunch, but they’ve choked in the past in the postseason and no reason they might not do so again. But we’re going to need all the luck that may come our way. As a GA Dawg fan, I know all about having to get through the toughest team to get to the ultimate goal. The Dodgers are this year’s Bama. If we get through LA, I think the rest is entirely in our favor.

  41. Hey, gotta take care of Tennessee this week first… ;)

    Ah, cool. I’m sure you’ll dig it. As you might imagine, a lotta Bob Gibson in it.

    Halberstam was just the best.

  42. And a fun one: “We Could’ve Finished Last Without You: An Irreverent Look at the Atlanta Braves, The Losingest Team in Baseball for the Past 25 Years” by Bob Hope (no, not that Bob Hope).

    Written by a former Braves exec & published in early 1991, it’s got some Braves history, but it’s mostly about the insane promotions that the ’70s/Ted Turner-era Braves did to get people to the ballpark — weddings at home plate, tight-rope walker Karl Wallenda, wet t-shirt contests, ostrich races, etc.

  43. I probably read every baseball book in my elementary school library half a dozen times in the early to mid 70’s, and I don’t remember a single one about a Brave or the Braves.

  44. Furman Bisher’s Miracle in Atlanta is a fairly interesting account of the machinations that got the Braves to Atlanta, with side excursions into the Crackers and Braves history.

  45. “The Kid” (Ted Williams) and “Yogi” are two recent biographies I’ve enjoyed. Lots of interesting cultural context about growing up where (San Diego and St. Louis, respectively) and when they did.

  46. So yesterday Kyle Wright was compared to:
    -a wild west character in general, then more specifically Val Kilmer’s (sickly) Doc Holliday
    -an old-timey magician
    -a dark-haired Dread Pirate Roberts
    -a tubercular Victorian poet

    I love this bar.

    Come on Rays! No one wants a Yankees-Astros ALCS.

  47. @43 I’m sure Spahn would have something to say about that claim.

    I recommend Ball Four, Plus Five, By Jim Bouton. Ball Four is the best baseball book ever written and should be included in any high school lit class. It transcends sports. And this version includes his comeback with the Braves.

  48. When I was growing up, “I Had a Hammer” by Hank with Lonnie Wheeler was just about my favorite book, alongside Lord of the Rings. Ububba’s right that Bryant’s Aaron biography is really tremendous.

    Schuerholz’s book is self-congratulatory and really not very good, but I remember liking Eddie Mathews’s autobiography.

  49. I agree Schuerholz’s book is not that good. I’m not even sure I finished it. I think RA Dickey’s book was written before his time with the Braves, but it is very good.

    What a game tonight, and what an at-bat by [some guy] for the GW homer off Chapman! Hard not to like the Rays. May they dispatch the Astros before getting pummeled by the Braves.

  50. AL evil empire is eliminated.
    I like our chances against the rays or cheats, if only we could get past the NL evil empire.

  51. Wow. Congratulations to the Rays. #27 in MLB payroll beats #1. Yankee payroll is 4x the Rays.

  52. “The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood” is pretty good, despite the somewhat overwrought title. It does get into his alcoholism and family issues (and does it well, by the way), but there’s plenty of good stuff about his baseball career, also.

  53. If we’re talking about best baseball books ever full stop, I loved Robert Creamer’s “Baseball in ’41.”

  54. Re: October, 1964

    The writing is just “a cut above” in a way that’s hard to define. I think it’s because Halberstam is not, first and foremost, a sportswriter. There’s just a different manner of expression that he brings to the game—a game which he obviously loves—and it works for baseball very well.

  55. Also, it’s almost a cliche at this point, but if you haven’t read “Moneyball,” you should. I would actually be interested to read it again now during a time when the majority of the league is fully on board with its precepts.

  56. I enjoyed Chipper’s book. Thought it was insightful and honest.
    @66 R.A. Dickey’s book, I can also highly recommend. But yes, was a year before he was with the Braves.

    On paper, we will lose against the Dodgers. I like our odds.

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