Rockies 5, Braves 4

*clears throat*

Well, that sucked. I can’t remember the taxonomy of Braves losses any more, but this game was one we’ve seen a bunch. As Doctor Seuss might have said, describing a game like this:

UNLESS our whole lineup
homers a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better.
It’s not.

Touki has officially reached the vaunted “gee, I dunno” status, previously achieved by Kyle Wright and Sean Newcomb. DOB’s Snitker interview drew out the unsurprising fact that he’s probably out of the rotation, but the broader takeaway is, if Snit and the organization had long-term confidence in him, that post-game interview is where it would have come out. Silence spoke volumes.

The offense left somewhat to be desired. Hitting in their home park, the Braves had Gray on the ropes in the first inning — a double and two singles in the inning, 27 pitches thrown — but let him off the hook with just one run in, as Duvall and d’Arnaud both struck out with two men on. The very first batter in the bottom of the inning, Trevor Story, hit a 430-foot bomb to center, tying the game, and from that point on, the Braves did not look like the better team.

Touki had 1-2-3 innings in the first, third, and fourth. But as was so often the case, he was working behind hitters and clearly struggling to command both the fastball and the curveball. In the fifth, a leadoff single was followed by a two-run homer, and Snitker gave him the hook. He may never get a better shot to stay in the rotation in an Atlanta uniform.

As if to underline the stakes in Touki’s career, Sean Newcomb made an appearance as the The Ghost of Christmas Past. In spite of plenty of his characteristically shaky control, he ultimately threw two hitless innings with four strikeouts against one walk. That’s looking like Touki’s upside. Either that, or he needs a team of sports psychologists and pitching coaches to help him figure out how to sharpen his command. Right now, he doesn’t know where it’s going in half of his innings, and hitters can sit dead red.

In the meantime, our boys were making Jon Gray‘s evening a lot more enjoyable, going down hitless in the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th innings, and squandering a one-out double in the 4th. Finally, with our old buddy Jhoulys Chacin on the mound, Freddie got a triple and Adam Duvall hit a two-run homer to cut the deficit to 5-4, but there it would stay. An awful C.B. Bucknor strike call in the bottom of the 9th significantly expanded their closer’s strike zone, and Carlos Estevez recorded his third save against the Braves in a two-week period.

Go get ’em, Huascar.

44 thoughts on “Rockies 5, Braves 4”

  1. Once upon a decade or so ago, I stumbled across what I still anachronisticly think of as a column. I read it, then re-read it and thought, “That boy can write.” He still can.

    Thanks, Alex.

    How about winning today, Braves?

  2. It did indeed suck. Be happy with four innings and only two runs. Get him the hell out of there. Ever watch the A L leading team handle pitchers like that?
    The Braves win despite piss poor coaching. What they have accomplished this year when considering all obstacles it is amazing. Today a Manager and Pitching Coach who know what the hell they are doing is vital. ATLANTA HAS NEITHER.

  3. @2 It’s funny…I was listening to Chip talk about Snit and his statment that “many feel this has been his best managerial job” with everything the team has endured. You could make the arguement that he did a really good job keeping them in it until AA made the deadline deals and we took off. While I do think there is some credibility to giving him some credit there, much of the credit needs to go to the teams in our division that stunk as bad or worse than we did until we got things in order. If we were in any other division we could have been buried, with or without RAJ. Furthermore, I think you could also argue that Snit cost us a fair amount of wins with bad bullpen management and some odd batting order/lineup decisions. As always Snit giveth and he taketh away.

  4. I’ve been in Alaska fighting the bears, climbing the mountains, scaling the glaciers, and constantly living in a state of confusion because it’s light out for like 16 hours of the day, so I’m late to the great discussion about our outfield ridiculousness.

    Unless there’s something I’ve missed, I don’t see how there can possibly be an informed viewpoint about the outfield if we don’t know what’s happening with Ozuna. Some of you guys can be big mad again because you think, I dunno, I like hitting girls or something when I say that Ozuna will probably be back, but the tea leaves definitely present that way to me. So until that information solidifies in either direction, I don’t see how we can have a clue what’s going on. Pache complicates things considerably as well. The starting outfield next year might be the same as the Opening Day starting outfield this year.

    Duvall is probably the cheapest guy to bring back that provides the most upset. I’d love to see Duvall back as a 4th outfielder/DH.

  5. As always Snit giveth and he taketh away.

    Very much agreed. All of his strengths have corresponding weaknesses, and vice versa.

  6. I don’t think any of us knows what will happen with Ozuna. But the closest parallel is Olivera, and the team simply disappeared him.

    I would much rather they do that than follow the Phillies’ path with Odubel Herrera (or the Steelers with Roethlisberger) — welcome the guy back and give him plenty of playing time, after he’d finished serving the mandated time. I wish they would’ve cut him. So, the Braves could go one of two ways with this. I know what I’d prefer, but I certainly can’t predict.

  7. The Blue Jays were able to trade Roberto Osuna to the Astros for Ken Giles.

    Think Houston would want Marcell?

  8. @6 The problem is this is not Hector Olivera or Ray Rice. This whole situation is getting moonwalked backed faster than Michael Jackson. Like I’ve antagonized, you guys can keep getting mad at the messenger that Mrs. Ozuna does not want the money to go away. Atlanta is probably going to end up getting stuck with this guy, the majority of his contract, and no clear route of what to do with him.

    Roberto Osuna wasn’t even charged. If I’m not mistaken, Ozuna is at least being charged, so the upside being the Osuna situation might be wishful thinking. My overwhelming fear, regardless of what the specific legalities are, is that we’re in this quagmire where Ozuna is due his entire contract, Atlanta doesn’t want him, but nobody else wants him, and therefore we’re stuck with him.

    I do wonder if there’s a weird insurance through Lloyds of London or something where large companies can take out insurance on CEOs or professional athletes or other high-paid individuals that commit crimes or reprehensible behavior, but the behavior doesn’t fall under what voids their contract, and they can pay the bad person to go away and recover their losses.

  9. I think Ozuna is suspended for the 2022 season, or a large part of it, then is once again the Braves problem. Also, I think any new CBA negotiation regarding domestic abuse would only affect new cases after the new CBA. IMO, we’ll have to pay him for 2023 and 2024 whether he plays or not.

  10. I’m a big Soler fan, quality guy I would say. Must sign.

    Pity though that he couldn’t duplicate his first inning double to the off field wall again, when there was nobody on, in the ninth when there was.

    Have to admit we also saw his first serious misjudgment since Day one, fielding a drive near that wall. He jocked it.

  11. I agree with those who conclude that the Braves are likely stuck with Ozuna, or at least after he serves whatever suspension MLB dishes out for some or all of next season. But what they are stuck with is the contractual obligation to pay him his salary; they have no obligation to play him. They are perfectly free to release him if they don’t want him on the team (and pay his full salary), or they can trade him to a team willing to take him, but they will likely have to pay virtually all of his salary.
    Assuming they can’t trade him, it will be interesting to see whether they decide that, what the hell, if we’re paying him anyway, let’s at least get some value on the field from him. I doubt this will be viewed by management primarily as a moral question. Two considerations will be whether there will be a negative impact within the clubhouse if he returns, and will there be a big hostile reaction from fans if he suits up for the Braves again, such that it impacts attendance and revenue.

  12. As I often do, I’ll defend Snit here. The most important job of a manager is in the clubhouse, keeping everyone motivated and performing at their best. By all accounts he’s excellent at that, and this season he has done a particularly good job of that. All of the bad luck in the first half got me frustrated and wanting to quit, but the team never did.

    Tactical decisions don’t have nearly as great an impact on wins and losses as we’d like to believe. Like many here, I’ve been very critical of his bullpen management, but I doubt it’s made much of a difference–and his options have been limited. And I still say lineup construction rarely makes a difference in any game.

  13. Also on Snit, pulling Touki tied 2-2 after 4 and asking the bullpen to go 5 innings would have been the thing to do if this were a must-win last game of the season, but I get his logic at the start of a stretch of 19-1/2 games in 20 days. Touki only threw 75 pitches including the batters in the 5th, so getting 6 innings out of him was certainly a possibility, and using 5 innings’ worth of (this group of) relievers meant that odds were pretty good that one would get lit up, not even considering the implications for future games. I can see why he thought it was worth a shot.

  14. If we dont pay Ozuna for 2022 .. see if we can get Soler back and pay Duvall arbitration .. one can DH , other OF , Acuna be back in RF .. need a answer at CF .. Duvall not really a good answer and Acuna probably needs to play a corner after surgery .. need to let Joc Peterson ride on out .. maybe try Rosario there if they can sign him cheap or try Pache again … so Duval – LF , Pache – CF , Acuna – RF , Soler – DH for 2022 .. Rosario 4th OF … and Heredia 5th OF ( good for bench ) ..all other IF spots are set ( after they sign Freddie – and they better sign him ) and Catcher is set .. Adrianza is a resign

  15. I wonder if there are a bunch of Ozuna bobblehead dolls sitting in a warehouse somewhere. Brian McCann seems to be a non-obvious choice for a bobblehead, so I wonder if they had a promotional date reserved that they couldn’t use as originally planned. If they’re having one for Riley, they probably didn’t decide on it until June or so (when it became obvious that he would stick as a starter), so the turnaround must be pretty short, which makes me think they would’ve had time after Ozuna signed to plan one for him and order the dolls.

  16. Also I feel weird about Will Smith getting our nod for the Clemente award given his plug of Soto the other night. I appreciate that’s not quite what the award is for, but still…

  17. Werewolves of London for Charlie Blackmon is nice. Have I just missed it or has Kaminski been doing that consistently?

  18. I just realized that’s Daniel Bard, who was a dominant reliever for Boston a decade ago before he got the yips. Didn’t realize he was back in the league.

  19. I don’t ask for much, but I do ask that when we play the Rockies, the offense remembers there’s a game tonight.

  20. Dude gets nominated for a humanitarian award and you guys are scraping for ammo to hate on him.

    There are no narratives in life but what we make…

  21. This is not a must-win…obviously. But it would be kind of a tough loss, ensuring we lose the last series before going out west and dropping our division lead to 3.5 games.

  22. Honestly, it sounded and looked better off the bat than it ended up being; probably affected a fair bit by the weather?

  23. Chip Caray’s continued employment is the Braves’ and Bally’s way of saying, “Yeah, you can suck at your job, but it doesn’t matter when you have the right last name.”

  24. @35

    Well said Sir…

    My update…no surgery on Friday now…tested positive yesterday for Covid…so far, asymptomatic…vaccinated February, double Moderna…booster not yet available

    Main threat to long term health now is Braves numbers with RISP…frustration giving way to anger…never a good idea! Cheers

  25. Prediction .. loosing these last 2 will come back to haunt us .. Phillies have easy schedule down the road .. we go on the road for 11 Giants, Padres .. gonna come down to last 2 series .. would have been nice to take a 6 game lead into the road trip

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