In a season full of missed opportunities, that was definitely one of them. The Braves drew five walks, got the benefit of three errors and churned out seven hits, leading to a grand total of two runs against Sandy Alcantara and the Marlins in a 3-2 loss to Miami.
Amazingly in a season where the bullpen has been a grease fire and the starting pitching has dipped as low as needing Jesse Chavez to start a game, the bottom of the lineup is the crux of the issue. Between Dansby Swansonâ€™s disappointing year, Travis d’Arnaud injury, Cristian Pacheâ€™s struggles and Marcell Ozunaâ€™s placement on the commissionerâ€™s list for his abhorrent acts, this lineup simply lacks the necessary talent to consistently score runs.
With Swanson, Guillermo Heredia, Abraham Almonte and Kevan Smith comprising the bottom half of the order, the results were predictable. That quartet combined for three hits, and when you tack it on with the pitcherâ€™s spot picking up an 0-for thatâ€™s 3-for-20 outside the top four spots in the lineup.
And as expected, the Braves couldnâ€™t get the big hit and dropped a golden opportunity to keep their momentum from the last three games going.
- A rough middle for Kyle Muller today, but the beginning and end were mostly strong. His command fell off in the third and fourth innings, but his stuff looked crisp from the start and he regained his composure well after a rocky third inning. Itâ€™s unfortunate that the Garrett Cooper home run ended up deciding the game, but thatâ€™s another building block for Muller.
- Ozzie Albies is still scorching hot. If only he had gotten a little bit more of the barrel on that 106.6 MPH rocket that ended the gameâ€¦
- Could Jesse Chavez be a legitimate bullpen piece out of nowhere? He relieved Muller in the sixth and got four big outs. None of his stuff is hard, but all of it has break and he now has a 3.18 ERA in 5 â…” innings this season.
- Tyler Matzek had a solid ninth inning, and it wasnâ€™t just against left-handed hitters. He at least gave the Braves a chance to win that game.
- Thereâ€™s not really a nicer way to say it, but youâ€™re not getting there with the bottom of the lineup as currently constructed. Whether the answer is finding another catcher to take Kevan Smithâ€™s place, calling up Orlando Arcia to play left field or making a trade, something has to happen if the Braves actually want to make a serious run at this
- Yes, the one outlier was the 20-run outburst vs. the Mets, but the Braves have failed to score more than four runs in 14 of their last 15 games now. 11 Theyâ€™ve failed to even reach four runs in 12 of those 15 games. This is an untenable situation with the offense right now, and frankly itâ€™s amazing the Braves have even gone 8-7 in those 15 games.
- 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and 10 runners left on base. Austin Riley in particular had a rough day stranding two runners to end the third and grounding into a costly twin-killing to end the fifth.
- Dansby Swanson is 6-for-38 at the plate over his last 10 games with a .519 OPS. Itâ€™s a really small sample size, but his wRC+ for the season is 87, almost exactly in line with his career clip of 86. Ladies and gentlemen, your five-hole hitter.
- The Braves had a hit in each of the final seven innings of the game and a baserunner in eight out of nine frames. It was just a parade of missed opportunities, especially the one in the first inning where the Braves let Sandy Alcantara off the hook after he walked the first two batters of the game.
- Pablo Sandoval has one hit in his last 22 at-bats, and suddenly the bench is looking like the black hole we all thought it would back in Spring Training.
Former Brave Of The Day: The hottest team in baseball currently resides in Milwaukee. The Brewers won their 11th game in a row today, spurred on by three hits and four RBIs from former Brave Jace Peterson.
Quote Of The Game:
We know we’re better than this, but we can’t prove it.
â€” Tony Gwynn
Charlie Morton is second in all of baseball in hit by pitches with 12, and he hit the opening batter of the game in his last start against the Mets on Tuesday. In a series where hitting a batter early in the game could very well mean an ejection, the goal for tomorrow is just to get out of the game without any shenanigans.
Fwiw, Arcia pulled in 7th.
Also, Gallo didn’t play today.
2nd is probably nothing. First, probably something.
Dansby is a 7 or 8 hitter. Even when he hits 6th he holds his own. The fact that the lineup is so bad that he has to hit 5th is the real telling part
Langeliers is two years older than Brian McCann when he was called up to the majors and his stats are comparable. He has about the same number of AA at bats McCann had and. McCann never played in AAA. Since last year was a lost year in the minors, it’s even harder to know if he’s ready, but a rotation of him and Contreras could solve one of our problems. Bringing up Arcia could at least be a temporary fix for another problem until we can make a trade deadline deal.
I’ve been arguing that Dansby is more than this for five years now. But after all this time, I gotta admit… maybe he’s exactly this.
At the very least, Heredia should be moved ahead of Dansby in the batting order.
I am not good at waiting, especially when I have no idea what I’m waiting for. Whatever it is, AA, please do it soon.
As to our shortstop, he is what he is. MLB is not the SEC.
Keith Law about Shuster, Michael Harris, Ball and Tarnok:
He especially likes Tarnok: “He has at least above-average starter upside, with more than one pitch here potentially plus.”
@4 – There have been reasons to believe that Dansby was going to make a leap forward, and I was optimistic that would happen even this season. He’s better than his first half has been, but at 27 the clock is running out on any leap forward.
Let Dansby sort himself out at Gwinnett and bring Arcia up to play short. Time for a wake-up call. time to make adjustments.
I’ll have to say that there have been several trades and transactions made over the last few days. Most of them have been cash considerations for nothing players or swapping bad players for worse players. I’m getting a little impatient with Atlanta’s lack of action, but I would be in no hurry to make some of the deals that have recently been made.
Did we find out why Arcia was pulled?
Thank goodness we still have 9 relievers.
I would think this is buying time for Inciarte, Almonte or Sandoval. One of them will be put on waivers in the next 4 days. My guess is Inciarte.
Off topic, but I have an extra ticket for today’s game. The seats kind of suck, because you have to walk alllllll the way around to behind home plate and through the Delta club, but if anyone wants it, shoot me a note. John@johnadcox.com
Dansby is a major leaguer who needs to figure out how to make adjustments (and already has, to some extent) at the major league level. Either bench him or let him work it out while playing, but sending him down to the minors would be totally useless. Minor league pitching is not major league pitching. I’d rather he be working with Chipper, anyway, and Chipper is up at the big league level.
Arcia is starting in LF today. Go Braves.
Tremendous amount of optimism on the socials about Arcia. I’m not sure a 27-year old bust prospect with a couple good months at AA is worth getting this excited about, but it shows how easy it is to improve the offense right now.
I was hoping they’d use this as an opportunity to give Dansby a day off. Or at least swap Dansby and Heredia in the lineup. Dansby is just not a #5 hitter right now. He would be great as a #7 – potentially lead the bottom of the lineup.
@18 I think what we would at least hope for is that Arcia is the next in line to get hot for a while before becoming the next pumpkin. So far, Heredia and, to a lesser extent, Adrianza are the only ones who have not totally turned into dead weight.
@14 Inciarte is not going anywhere. I’d say that Almonte is low man on the totem pole.
I hate Snit’s reluctance to adjust lineup positions based upon daily matchups or current hot or cold streaks. Seems like modifying the lineup especially when a team is not scoring runs would possibly create more opportunities. At least psychologically if not statistically.
Rob hits the nail on the head @18 re: Arcia. People have been clamoring for him to be called up since May as if he’s the next great prospect. He’s not. He’s a AAAA guy (to borrow the expression from Chief) having a good season at AAA. Definitely worth a shot given how stagnant our offense has been (and it probably shouldn’t have taken this long to get him a week or two in left field and bring him up, for the record), but I wouldn’t be expecting a revelation.
An incremental to marked improvement from what we’ve been rolling with? Definitely possible and worth applauding if it happens. I just kind of feel like social media’s gonna be like, “Arcia’s OPSing only .700 after a week! LAAAAME!!! Let’s move on!”
Well put Chief and Nick. If you are a major league ball player more than likely you would be a major league ball player. I understand, they come up and do this and they. The pitchers figure them out and they do nothing. But given the number of minor league players the Braves have as big leaguers, what can it hurt. Right?
Bottom line-Just win baby.
It’s entirely possible that Arcia will be a bust and hit .223 instead of .303.
But let’s see what happens first, then make ourselves upset later.
The Braves have an off day the 8th when Muller would start again and then the All-Star Break would fall on his next turn.
I, too, have tempered expectations for Arcia. Johan Camargo is also lighting it up at Gwinnett.
And that’s illustrative of the situation, I’d say, with a player much better known to this fanbase than Arcia. Next in line for the Twitterverse to demand a call-up is Camargo, as if folks have never watched him actually play in the majors before.
Come on Chucky, no episode.
Arcia looks like he has good range in left field, which he should since he is a shortstop.
The Brewers don’t think much of William Contreras’ throwing arm. (Or Morton’s slow delivery)
That’s two starts in a row that Charlie gives up a 3-run HR in the 6th.
Yea … why would we resign Duval .. for 2 mil .. when we pay 20 mil for a couple washed up starters … worst mistake AA ever made not getting Duval back here .
Duvall trying to prove to AA that he made a mistake.
30 — It was the 7th last time
Adam Duvall may name his son “Truist”
@30 but Snit says he was doing so well and didn’t see the meltdown coming
@32 he did
I, too, fail to comprehend how Duvall would not have been a good investment.
Our corporate overlords decreed to Anthopoulos “thou shalt not spend any more monies” after he signed Morton and Smyly.
If he had known such a decree was coming, Alex would have invested differently. I’m sure.
Also, there was a belief that Pache and that other outfielder guy would be able to hit.
The umpire is terrible today.
Duvall is doing better lately but I still believe he is hitting below 200 with an ops around 600 against everyone but Atlanta. I did the math about a month ago and it was ugly. Marlins are just looking for him to do as well as possible so he has value in a trade.
Duvall is slashing 313/.370 /792 with 7 home runs in his last 15 games. He has definitely picked the right time to catch fire if he wants to be traded to a contender.
Emotional day for Chip. His beloved Marlins are leaving town. Glavine is taking some time off, so no one to discuss “playing the game the right way” with.”
Also, the Cubs are losing.
Lol…I hope Duvall bones AA every chance he gets. He deserves every bit of it
Another called third strike on our superstar at crunch time …Smh
Another caught stealing…pull the plug please
Albies .. swings at 2 balls .. let’s a strike go by when Freeman is running. .. WTH … Albies very undisciplined .. and please Acuna get off plate a little .. getting killed inside .. and Albies how a bunt down 3B line .. we are in a 1 run game ..
This is over. I am understanding Chief. Where is this going? The relievers stink, Snit stinks, the outfield stinks. Where is this going?
Greene’s Era is 10.00. Wtf?
Greene removes all doubt.
This fatally flawed team is never getting past .500. It is what it is.
The Mets are losing today too. Step off the ledge.
Shane Greene needs to go back to his unsigned free agent ass. 92 and hung sliders can be done by Santana.
Maybe 5-4 against loser teams might bring change but I won’t bet on it.
Blargh. Hopefully Pittsburgh series goes better.
It has been a pleasure getting to know all of you. See you next year. It’s not that I have better things to do, I have rescued two more dogs who need me to be calm and attentive to them. Plus their rewards are SO MUCH GREATER.
Adapt it’s the right way.
Holding out doesn’t seem like it helped Greene.
Just when this fan becomes mired in the slough of despond, the Braves do this. Go, Braves!
2 more runs guys. This could be huge
Bloody hell, Chip.
Oh no Smith up …
Pretty sure you can’t block the plate, but what do I know.
I’m not even sure why MLB even has replay if they’re going to continue to f it up so terribly.
I mean, he was so obviously safe…
EDIT: Oh, hell yeah!
Varsity for the win!
Wow. This does feel like a season changer.
By the way, I’m pretty sure Max Fried never touched first base…
After all, Fried is a better hitter than Kevan Smith. Do these guys really have a chance this year??????
That was fun! Crazy game.
Now we must fear for the team’s safety. Heredia appears to have a sword.
Holy crap. Glad I stayed up to watch this. Great win.
This is the Rick Camp anniversary by the way.
I genuinely had 0% faith in the Braves winning this game.
@63, I was going to say the same thing. Can you imagine if the Braves had celebrated victory twice and been called back twice?
50+ years as a fan and I’m still not sure I understand the logic of requiring teams to appeal if a runner misses a base or tags up early. Seems like the umpires should be able to make the call regardless, and making the fielding team appeal doesn’t add any benefit.
@70: Exactly. I had the “Merkle’s Boner” from Ken Burns’s Baseball playing in my head
There were rumors of clubhouse problems several weeks ago. If we ever had those problems, I don’t believe we have them now. We still may not win the division but I think we’ll be in the hunt for it.
That was fun. Finally a comeback win. Especially sweet against Mattingly’s Marlins.