Res Ipsa Loquitor: Phils 2, Braves 1

We have a saying in the law: res ipsa loquitor (the thing speaks for itself).  I’ve been insisting to all the doubters and naysayers that of course the Braves are better than a .500 team.  Until a few minutes ago, I was all set to revel in the fact that our Braves finally—for the first time all season—have won more games than they’ve lost.

But the reality of their record is a stubborn fact, and it speaks for itself.  The 2021 Braves are not a .500 team.  As of June 9, they still have a losing record, and they haven’t been over .500 for a single day this season.

 They managed to lose this one in especially gut-wrenching fashion.  Tucker Davidson pitched 6 shutout innings, surrendering only 4 hits and one walk.   Meanwhile, the Braves had scored their only run on three straight singles in the 6th (Swanson, Almonte, and Contreras).  Matzek and Martin got them six up six down in the 7th and 8th.  So Will Smith was called upon to close it out in the 9th for the win that would finally put them over .500. 

Smith got Hoskins and Miller on either side of a walk to McCutcheon.  One out away from a shutout, four straight wins, and that elusive winning record.  Who is up for the Phils?  Some guy named Luke Williams, a 2015 draft pick who made his big league debut in this series.  What did Smith do?  What he does far too often: he gave up the game winning home run to young Mr. Williams.

I know it’s a long season.  We’re still just 3.5 behind the Mets.  There are hopeful signs.  Tucker Davidson has now made three starts and his ERA is 1.53.  Ozzie and Contreras each had 3 hits (for those of you concerned about Contreras, don’t be).

As hopeful as I generally am, as much as I know you have to take the long view, this one hurts. 

I still believe they will win more games than they’ll lose this season.  But–it’s June 9 and they are below .500.  Res ipsa loquitor.

Author: tfloyd

Tfloyd was born on the site of Atlanta Fulton County Stadium. Before the stadium was built, that is; it was then the site of Piedmont Hospital. It took the Braves another 11 years to arrive on what is now Hank Aaron Drive, but I‘ve always liked to arrive at the ballpark early.

75 thoughts on “Res Ipsa Loquitor: Phils 2, Braves 1”

  1. Well, we’re now a game below .500, but we have a 0 run differential — so we’re clearly better than our record.

    Since the Braves moved to Atlanta, this the 15th time they took a shutout lead into the 9th and lost without going into extra innings. The last time was 2009 when Rafael Soriano came in leading 1-0 and coughed up two in the bottom of the 9th to lose to the Astros.

    It could be worse, though! In this game, Larry McWilliams and Gene Garber combined to give up 6 in the top of the 9th when leading 5-0. Then again, that team lost 94 games.

  2. It’s okay to be sad. But I’ve noticed that this year’s team rarely gets clobbered. Even that game against the Dodgers last Friday the score was respectable by the end.

    Now that the dude who was hitting .200 is out of the 3-hole (I forget his name), the offense will be better. It has been already.

    Smith will get more saves. And he’ll blow more saves. But I think this team makes the playoffs.

  3. This one sucks but what another great performance by Tucker. We have enough guys to move to the closer slot: Martin, Minter and eventually Greene. Do it, Snit.

  4. To continue a couple of themes

    Will Smith is not a closer, thus quod erat demonstrandum

  5. Its gonna be like this in close games until Braves come up with a true closer .. somebody who is nasty .. with heat and a great changeup

  6. How would you have felt if you were a Washington Nationals fan on June 15th, 2019? After their own lengthy rebuild, they won 95 and 97 games in 2016 and 2017, but slipped to 82-80 in 2018. Bryce Harper left as a free agent after the 2018 season. And on June 15th, they were 32-38. Their bullpen was blowing almost every lead they were given. There was no cheap corporate owner to blame for fact that they had gone 114-120 since the beginning of the previous season.

    From there, with the exact same roster, they won 5 straight and 17 of their next 21. They traded for Daniel Hudson and Hunter Strickland at the deadline (Hudson was lights out; Strickland was terrible). They won 8 straight to end the regular season, won the Wild Card, and then won the World Series.

    A diehard Nationals fan would have to tell me what changed on June 16th because there wasn’t a big trade, free agent signing, or promotion/demotion. After being largely bad for a year and a half, the same roster started playing better. That’s baseball.

  7. Melancon didn’t give up mucho homers.

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Ender needs to start getting more starts in CF. Heredia isn’t even grading out well on defense anymore.

  8. @9 I think at this point I’m going to be compulsively checking the Gwinnett box score to see how Pache’s bat is coming along.

    Who would have thought that on June 10th, we’d have Abraham Almonte as our LF and Guillermo Heredia as our CF.

    I get where Ryan is coming from with how much easier it is to find a 3B in the trade market, but hard no. 1-4 in the Gwinnett lineup could all conceivably play LF before Riley ought to switch positions: Waters, Pache, Arcia, and Camargo. Next month, those guys will have 100+ more PAs to draw a conclusion from.

    Related, why the heck is Demeritte and his 1.100 OPS hitting 7th? What a kick to the gut that must be for Demeritte that they’re clearly trying to get those first 4 guys as many PAs as possible but not him. Not sure what that guy needs to do to get an opportunity.

  9. @11 Orgs probably identify guys as AAAA (org filler) just like we do. They may think that’s who he is.

    Since I now live in a miLB town and I can go to a game for $12.50 and sit in the best seat in the house, I’ve been going a lot. It’s amazing going to AA games and seeing just how many of those guys have ZERO chance to ever play in a MLB baseball game, because of age, lack of talent or opportunity, and if anything, it’s proven to me just how many players in the minors are actually prospects. It is VERY few. It’s really about 1 guy per team and even then, you see how players are/will be busts.

    It’s also interesting to me how far ahead the best hitters are in the minors of the average minor leaguer pitcher. BTW, the average minor league pitcher is BAD. I.E. the guys you’ve never heard of that are 4-5 years older than league average are clearly chaff.

    I stand by my long term contention that orgs really have 2-3 true prospects and the other 120 players are ALL just filler.

  10. Ryan, who is Joey Estes at Augusta with his 39/6 K/BB ratio and 1.01 ERA after 26 innings?

  11. @15-yeah, that was what I was trying to get at (inartfully) in my recap. I felt that strongly in the moments right after the game.

    But the truth is, a season doesn’t have a predetermined script. I appreciate Rob’s reminder of the 2019 Nats. Everyone assumed the team was snakebit and had no chance to make the postseason, let alone go all the way.

    Perhaps my three favorite Braves teams of all time were 1991-93. The 91 team was a game below .500 at the all star break. The 92 team was a game below .500 on June 10. And you remember how many games the 93 team had to make up to catch the Giants. There is a lot of baseball left.

    It would help to trade for the Crime Dog at the deadline.

  12. At least the team is staying near .500. In years past, this team had gotten hot for a month or so, and a few detractors would point out that apart from said hot streak the team was a game better than or a game worse than .500. So far, we’re just that hot streak away, and if I was going to have it I would rather have it down the stretch.

  13. I really hate to say this, but I don’t think the team needs to back up the Brinks truck for FF5.

  14. Braves farmhand said Estes has the best fastball he’s ever seen and David Lee’s chiming in on the changeup. Bryce Elder, Spencer Strider, and Joey Estes are the next wave and we’ll really know what they haven when they get to AA and AAA. They are putting up absurd numbers thus far.

  15. Also, Freddy Tarnok returned from instructs finally healthy and immediately became a force.

  16. Another guy to watch. Started off slow after a year off, but is coming around quickly.

  17. For me, lately watching Anderson reminds me of Hanson. He’s not a fast worker and he needs a relatively lot of pitches to get hitters. At least that’s how it feels like to me. It’s stressful, for me, to watch him pitch.

  18. Anderson is truly a pitcher. He’s not a dominator overpowering ACE type, but his changeup at times is equally as devastating as the best FB pitcher’s FB.

    Didn’t Hanson have a very good curveball? I’m trying to remember his pitch types, etc.

  19. @28 He’s 23 years old and he’s 24th in MLB in K/9. He’s pretty dominant.

  20. I think your analysis of Anderson is pretty good Chief. I will say that I think the Braves could have a pretty special trio in Anderson, Davidson and Soroka (if he ever makes it back). Davidson looked good last night, but he seemed to be a pretty good example of someone with decent control but not the greatest command. It looked like he missed his spots quite a bit. If he puts both of them together he will be dangerous.

  21. #31
    Hey, don’t forget Max Fried…

    I tend to be an optimist, so I always embrace a best-case possibility. It keeps me watching.

    But so far, it just seems that the times we’ve been humbled this season (injuries, felonies, bad losses), it’s been pretty dramatic.

    Of course, a bad bullpen will do that to you.

  22. And as so often, I was wrong. What a game by Anderson. In complete control after the first inning.

  23. You are correct that I forgot Fried. Hopefully Ynoa can also return to form. Of course getting the 5 together with no injuries would be extremely rare, but that would be pretty impressive.

  24. This lousy bullpen… what a fiasco. But the lousy offense is more to blame. I am also starting to wonder if we will/should throw big money at Freeman. At some point during the season stars need to produce and leaders need to lead

  25. At least it won’t be a walk off.

    I swear our catchers are going to set the league record for most passed balls for teams that don’t have any knuckleball pitchers

  26. @39 atta boy Freddie….way to make that post not age well. Now, about that walk off…lol

  27. What is going on with the catchers today? Nobody on either team can catch or block the ball.

  28. Looks like we want to hand it right back…

    …and that’s that.

    This bullpen is just breaking our hearts on a regular basis.

  29. Are we shifting defensively? I am not watching on tv but I am on the game cast and can’t tell

  30. These guys are the 2018 Nationals, blessed with a bullpen that will break your heart every time.

  31. @ #60

    I’m on the Internet radio and wondered the same thing. Why weren’t the Braves playing a traditional “no doubles” defense where the third baseman guards the line?

  32. The offense continues being the problem , more than the bullpen.
    Scored 1 yesterday, technically scored only 1 today. Gotta give the bullpen some breathing room.

  33. If Smith, Minter, and Martin can’t get it done, I’m don’t know what to tell you. Maybe try to score more than 1 run every 9 innings I guess.

  34. Maybe they should’ve pitched Luke a second inning. He is still our best reliever right now.

  35. #65
    The Braves are 1st in the NL in HRs, 2nd in the NL in OPS & 4th in the NL in runs scored.

    The Braves are 13th in the NL in bullpen ERA (4.78)

    Also, in today’s game, the bullpen had breathing room (a 3-1 lead) going to the bottom of the 10th.

    The reason this team is where it is comes down to its shabby bullpen. It has coughed up too many winnable games… just like the last 2.

  36. Zero reason that a middling financial market actor (I have contended forever that the Braves should behave as a large market with its huge regional if not national fanbase and population of the Atlanta metro) with a tightwad owner should even be contemplating giving 150M to a 31 year old+ 1B. Would be the definition of insanity.

  37. An other pathetic effort. The Braves bullpen is an embarrassment. Shameful.
    Oklahoma girls can do better.
    84 wins, hum, I don’t think so.
    Insulting effort. This is not major league baseball.. Atlanta has one very good every day player. Pitchers, let’s wait to the season is over to anoint any of them as very good. I can see a couple, but prefer to get gather more evidence.
    Team C-.

  38. Oh by the way, I’m going to the three games in Miami. I live outside of Tampa in the third world country of Florida.
    I was hoping to go in better spirits, but one must be realistic. Great ball park and city. I will enjoy the total experience.
    Being bilingual helps.
    Maybe two out of three. Is that dreaming?

  39. Acuna .278 not very good
    Freeman .228 bad
    But only fifty points behind.

    Jackson is the best reliever?

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