Before we get to Clint’s piece, let’s take a look at the news of the day from the Braves world and don’t forget the Braves are +120 to win on Betway, so get your bets in here).
Joc’s Player Tribune Article
We knew Joc Pederson was a fun, slightly obnoxious character and he proved us right in this fun piece.
Braves Release World Series Roster
As discussed in the last piece, the Braves needed another RH arm after Ynoa went down and while I predicted Spencer Strider, Anthopoulos went with Kyle Wright instead. Kyle pitched brilliantly at the end of the season for Gwinnett. His last 5 starts, he averaged 7 innings/start, carried a 1.29 ERA, and struck out 35 while only walking 7. Terrance Gore wasn’t a surprise and I’m glad to see he’s here.
I love this lineup. I might’ve swapped Eddie Rosario and Ozzie Albies, but it’s a minimal argument.
Without further delay, I present Clint’s piece.
Eddie Rosario: The Real Monster of Halloween
It could be the energy he brings, or his infectious smile, or maybe itâ€™s just how dang great heâ€™s been of late (that always helps) — but either way, Eddie Rosario is a fan favorite in Braves Country. They were printing his jersey at Truist Park this past Sunday night while Atlanta was working on itâ€™s first pennant in over 20 years, and theyâ€™ll be working on them for a while, because this man isnâ€™t going anywhere anytime soon. Sporting a brand new NLCS MVP award, the 30-year-old Puerto Rican has officially arrived, and with the Braves set to take on the Astros beginning Tuesday in what should be an even better World Series, he may just carry this team all the way.
Costing one Pablo Sandoval and a bit of uncertainty regarding his eventual return from the injured list — I must admit, at the time, Eddie Rosario wasnâ€™t the flashiest of deadline deals by GM Alex Anthopoulos. Lacking very impactful numbers on offense during the first-half of the regular season, and a glove that scored below average according to most defensive metrics, Rosario just didnâ€™t seem like an addition that could move the needle much. And those lacking features of course didnâ€™t even include the fact that, at the time of the transaction, he wasnâ€™t even available to play for the Braves.
However, following more rest from his intercostal strain, and a brief rehab stint with Triple-A Gwinnett: roughly a month after the transaction, Rosario was ready to contribute in an Atlanta uniform. And contributeâ€¦ he did.
As the Braves ripped off an 18-11 record down the final stretch (Sept/Oct), the outfielder hit .273 with seven home runs and 14 RBI — good for a 136 wRC+. Beginning as a piece to help lengthen a sometimes-stale lineup, Rosario went from a bottom-of-the-order bat to the teamâ€™s primary no. 5 or 6 hitter, and as the team clinched its fourth-straight division title, he continued to heat up.
Now I shouldnâ€™t have to recap what happened next. We all witnessed how incredible Rosario was in both the NLDS and NLCS, hitting .308 and tying for second on the team in hits during the former series and .560 (!) with three homers in the latter one. A 1 1/2-2 WAR player (on average) thatâ€™s a little past his prime just comes out of nowhere and ties the record for the most hits (14) in a postseason series. Definitely saw that coming.
But whatâ€™s even crazier about all of this is that itâ€™s still not over. This isnâ€™t just some celebratory conclusion to another exciting contending Braves team that got hot and ran into the playoffs only to quickly be put down. Of course, even then, Rosarioâ€™s storybook performance would still be special, but it would undoubtedly be overshadowed by yet another elimination for Atlanta. No, this time we get to ride this hype train into the World Series, and if youâ€™ve watched a Braves game this postseason you canâ€™t help but be raring to go, because seemingly every game theyâ€™ve played has featured something even better then the previous one.
Every postseason has a hero, and so far itâ€™s definitely been Rosario. I canâ€™t wait to see how this story ends, but I have feeling that even when it does we certainly wonâ€™t forget what heâ€™s done for the Braves in such a short time this year.
And to think… all it took was trading Sandoval.
BOY, that Joc article was good. Powerful stuff! So glad we get to use the DH tonight & tomorrow, it’ll be great to have everybody we want in the lineup. Unfortunately, that means we’ll lose our most consistent & powerful hitter, Max Fried, tomorrow…
You could make a slight argument for Anderson Game 2 and Fried Game 3 actually, just based on each pitcher’s hitting prowess. Although you could also counter that you don’t have to be tempted to pull Morton or Fried too early for a pinch hitter by starting them in the AL park,
Even more than usual, in the playoffs I strongly believe you shouldn’t overthink the clearly right decision. You want Max in Game 2, because he’s either our best or our second-best pitcher, you want to win as many games as you can as early as you can, and you want to be able to bring him back in Game 6 if needed on regular rest.
Also, if Anderson pitched Game 2, he’d be coming back on three days’ rest. This gambit of giving Fried at-bats is definitely not worth doing that. Also, Fried has been bad at the plate recently, so throw that on top.
I work with a guy who’s a huge Cleveland Indians fan — weird for a Long Island guy, but Long Island’s kinda weird. Anyway, when we got Rosario, I knew that he’d watched him play a lot as an Indian and as a rival Twin, so I asked, “Apart from his numbers, what can you tell me about him?”
He said, “He’s kinda feast-or-famine streaky & he’ll do some things that’ll make you crazy in the field and on the bases.” Guess he wasn’t wrong, but let’s keep that feast going for another week.
From previous thread:
Thanks, ValD Braves, for the parking heads-up. I probably saved some bucks on that.
JonF, that’s going to be a game-time decision.
But I am entirely down with your sentiment. If we’re not playing/beating either of the 2 Gotham clubs in the post-season, it’s certainly special to have their fanbases watching us, while we drink to their teams’ tantalizing/disappointing seasons. Cheers…
And what’s really weird, from my recent experience/conversations, most people here hate the Astros more than the Braves these days. Yes, it has been awhile…
Nick, I remember that WS all too well. I had tickets for Game 6, but didn’t mind that it never got there. I just wanted it to be over. I think I watched Game 5 from the Euclid Ave Yacht Club in ATL’s L5P with a degree of relief & a lotta Guinness.
Be bold? OK, Braves in 5.
Looks like Kyle Tucker is their only player that they try to steal with routinely. Can’t blame them when the rest of the lineup mashes like they have. Still a positive given how much the Braves struggled to control the running game so far.
Excited in general, as we all are, but this is my first BJWS.
I can’t remember what I did in that miserable ’99 Series to console myself – – but good to have this group here for analysis and kindred spirits.
So, you’ll all recognise where this was taken
It was taken on the morning of Game 1, Dodgers at Red Sox 3 years ago – we just happened to be fortunate enough to be in town but flying back to the UK that evening
Didn’t think I’d get closer to a World Series than that, but here we all are
Without jinxing anything, I like our chances, so Braves in 6
Wonder if Rosario will get anything to hit with Duvall behind him.
Y’all, it’s going to be a great day, regardless of the outcome.
Time is elastic, isn’t it?
Thanks for the great season. Let’s win this thing.
Out of curiosity, does anyone know if any of Mac’s posts from the last time we were in the WS in ’99 are still accessible? I struck out on the Wayback Machine, but wasn’t sure if I was looking in the right place.
If I can only make one prediction, it’s that Adam Duvall will hit a home run in before the series is over.
But will you say that Saturday?
@13, this is probably your best bet:
To throw a little cold water, I’m a bit concerned about throwing Soler and Rosario back into an AL park against an AL team which neither have done all that well against. Both of them may have benefitted from playing against teams in stadiums that had never seen them before.
That being said, this lineup is consistent Snit-like. Not more than two RH hitters in a row even when it turns over. That’s why Soler is on top and Rosario back in the middle. Rosario was hitting just fine in this lineup. And walking Rosario to get to Duvall may or may not be a good strategy especially if Duvall can get back to his reverse split ways from the season.
With Soler and Albies (and Duvall and Dansby) we may see a few balls formerly known as “warning track outs” go out of the park in Minute Maid LF. Even with that benefit the Astros have hit fewer HRs than the Braves.
The Braves are in the World Series. Sorry, I’d never typed those words in that order before. Carry on.
Last time the Braves were in the World Series, I was 11 years old, and the only memories I have from then are:
1) Keith Lockhart’s weak-ass flyout to close out the sweep.
2) Andruw Jones throwing a ball out of Yankee Stadium.
We are in the World Series!! So unbelievable!
It doesn’t seem like 22 years. Time flies. I remember when getting to the World Series was expected. WINNING the World Series – not so much. Either way this team and this playoff run have brought joy to all of us.
Edit: SOLER POWER!!!
What did I say about those hits formerly known as “warning track outs”.
So far, so good.
YEAH! Punch ’em in the mouth!
I love the stones it takes for Ozzie to steal on a lefty.
Darn, Duvall could’ve used some wheaties. Liked the approach overall, I guess; he’s not throwing strikes. Don’t chase and good things will happen.
Lots of solid contact.
Smoltz talks too much.
Hey, Kranitz woke up!
Whew, thats the last two games that Morton has struggled with control in the 1st. I wonder what is up with that?
Hopefully he can go 5 or 6 scoreless like last time.
Escaped. Let’s hope Charlie can find his command next inning.
Travis! The shift giveth and it taketh.
Early on we have 2 strikes called balls for Morton, and one ball gifted a strike to Valdez.
Dansby sure gave that a ride. Man oh man.
Dansby hits that to left and it’s a 3-run HR.
I just pulled a Chip Caray in my living room on that Dansby fly out and now Chipper the Dog is confused and excited for no reason.
I know I watched the 1999 WS, but I have no memory of those games at all. OTOH, I remember almost every at bat of the 1991 Series. I guess by ’99 we were all jaded. 1991 was kind of like this year–we weren’t accustomed to the World Series, and in mid-season no one thought there was a chance to win the pennant. I’m more excited about this World Series than any baseball event than that ’91 series.
Well, there’s our daily baserunning boner. At least the run scored.
Bad call to start on Riley; that ruined that AB.
I swear the Braves are playing against both the umpires and the opponents.
F-ing BS! Ump is starting to give calls. Started that entire Riley at bat wrong. Still…up 3.
Alright, that hook was straight up unethical. Damn, Charlie, pull some strings!
I’m telling you, that just ain’t even legal.
Duvall didn’t look great at the plate in the last couple games. But it’s a new set of games.
Finally! Duvall knocks one!
BACK AT THE WALL
THAT is why you don’t walk Rosario to get to Duvall.
We are killing lefties.
This is AMAZING!!
There’s your Duvall HR
We’re up 5-0 on the road in Game 1 in the World Series and their starter is out of the game…
Which is what I told ALL OF YOU would happen in July. 🤦♂️ #TeamSell
They can’t possibly justify throwing their best relievers for the duration of this game, can they?
After Rosario’s single, Smoltz said “Rosario is just one of those guys who likes to get hits.” Can’t quarrel with that. Similarly, I guess Duvall is just one of those guys who likes to hit home runs.
Doggone, I thought Pederson got into that but he basically just popped it up to the warning track.
Hey, I was #TeamSell, too. Sometimes the baseball gods have other plans.
If we blow them out, they can pull Charlie early, and he can come back and pitch game 4.
Long way to go. Five runs is nothing for this Houston offense. Keep pouring it on.
I was #TeamSell too. Can’t be more glad to be wrong.
I was NOT #TeamSell but I never imagined we’d be here. It’s all happening.
Oh no, Charlie.
Oh for crying out loud
You have GOT to be kidding me. Nooooooooooo
Oh no, why can’t we have good things
Well, that’s not good…
Looked like he grabbed his shin. It may be he landed hard (his leg looked like it buckled a bit) and he got a shin splint. That may be recoverable.
They just mentioned the hit ball off the leg from the last inning – maybe a bone bruise.
It honestly didn’t look that serious…
Time for everyone to step up.
Snitker not fooling around with any back-end guys.
What the hell just happened? Delayed reaction after the ball went off his leg last inning? I hope it’s recoverable.
Yet another borderline pitch that we don’t get that the ump has been calling for the Astros.
Yep, just confirmed on the TV feed that his ankle swelled up on him. Hopefully that means he’ll be able to start again on normal rest.
Well, if just it’s a bone bruise as Rosenthal just said, it might not be that serious.
Do you just throw Kyle Wright? Just flip flop him and Morton for today and game 4?
Another missed call, now on Minter, leads to a double. I’m sorry to be basically calling them as they happen, but I just know I’m gonna be so pissed when HP report cards come out tomorrow.
Ankle is the word for Morton. I would hope he can go in game 4, but who knows.
Good thing playoff Minter is the best kind of Minter.
We thinking Minter for the 3rd and 4th, Chavez for the 5th and 6th, Jackson for the 7th, Matzek for the 8th, then Smith? That would be great, I hope we don’t have to throw Martin out there too. We’re going to need a LONG game from Max tomorrow.
If we are lucky, the ankle injury to Charlie isn’t serious. If that’s the case, Rob may get his wish and Morton returns for game 4. OTOH, it could be some sort of fracture.
Great job Minter!
Got to focus on the next 6 innings, and sort the rest out later.
Calling no major injury. I’ve refused to be negative all year despite all reason to be so. Not going to start now. Up 5, folks. Go Braves!
@83. Ideally, we can score a few more and not have to use our top-tier bullpen arms, or at least have them out there for (relatively) low-stress innings.
Speed kills. Ruled an error and should be, but Ozzie’s legs have already sparked multiple innings for us.
Ozzie on base three times and hasn’t gotten the ball out of the infield…….. lol
@88 True, I would rather see Martin than Matzek eat up some innings, it would be awesome if we could save Matzek for tomorrow. Heck, this would be a great opportunity to have Jackson close the game; let him build up his confidence while saving Smith’s arm!
Rosenthal says it was swelling from Gurriel’s liner. Too painful to continue. That would at least bode well for him being available in Game 4/5.
Chalk one up for the shift.
Swanson….that was the tailor made DP…. that was bad.
We’re getting eat up by freak plays, but no worries. Still up 4. Swanson finally boots one. Hasn’t happened in a long while.
EDIT – Also I think Minter has hit his limit.
EDIT EDIT – He got out of it. Probably not best to go another inning for him.
That’s what I created when I was optimistic about Swanson coming into this series. My bad.
A.J.! That was some VETRAN poise right there.
Fractured fibula for Morton.
Aj gets out of it if not for the boot. Great job minimizing damage
@101 – That seems… sub-optimal.
@101 Oh nooo. That sucks. Poor Charlie. Poor Braves.
@101 That explains why his leg buckled. Ugh.
Nevermind. Sickening. Just sickening.
@103 Sub-optimal indeed.
So this means that we will have to do bullpen games in Games 4 and 5. Sigh.
I guess we’ll just have to win it in 4. Dang it, I was thinking about going to game 5. How rude of our Braves.
Well who the heck would they call up? Touki? Wilson? Not… Tomlin?
@112 Well, Wilson plays for Pittsburgh, so…
Yet another Astros friendly strike 3 call to Duvall.
Another bad call, now cost Duvall a walk.
Has Muller been throwing? I think I go with him over Touki.
And another “strike 3” to D’Arnaud.
Fric and frac! Yeah, BP games in 4 and 5 depending on how the rest of the series goes. Win tonight and tmrw and we may see Fried back on short rest to finish it off. But let’s not get too far ahead.
I know who can fix this
I hate it for Charlie and for the Braves. I was afraid of this; figured he wouldn’t come out just with a bruise and swelling.
Ryan may get his man Strider in this series after all.
NOT a strike.
Two terrible strike 3 calls.
And another to d’Arnaud! Good grief.
Guess we’ll just have to win games 1, 2, and 3 and get a little flexibility with games 4/5.
Manfred told these umps that he doesn’t want to have to present the trophy to us in Atlanta. We’ll be playing 9 against 10 all series. So be it. Bring it.
@119 – Was just about to say that. Lol.
I think they pick up Strider and start Kyle Wright in Game 4. Need more RH pitchers.
Altuve is so bad he got struck out by a guy with a broken leg.
So we are basically back to last year’s starting pitching situation vs the Dodgers
It’s a fair question.
In all seriousness, that he continued to pitch on it means that is going to swell up like a hot air balloon. Poor Charlie. What a gamer.
I would probably go with Muller over Strider.
3 innings for Minter is interesting.
Also, am I wrong to think that Dizzy Dean wouldn’t let a fractured fibula stop him from pitching? Sure, it screwed up the rest of his career but Morton is 37. Suck it up and make that next million. I kid…sort of.
Only a Championship on the line. 😉
Is Ynoa still out even as an injury replacement? I don’t understand this sorcery.
I’d go Smyly. These young bucks on this stage just doesn’t give me good feelings.
My God, A.J. Minter just got 8 outs in Game 1 of the World Series. What an unbelievable performance.
Clutch af from AJ. Let’s add on.
Terrific performance by AJ
Is there a taxi squad in Houston?
@129, I think Dean’s injury was to a toe.
@132 I will never forget those 3 scoreless to start game 5 against the dodgers. Guy has a different gear in the playoffs, and it is mostly due to being able to throw the 90mph change up for strikes.
Great job by Minter.
Got to go with openers in Games 4 and 5, with Smyly as the bulk guy for Game 4 and I guess Kyle Wright as the bulk guy for Game 5.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to do 2 bullpen games in a row, you bring back Fried on short rest for Game 5.
@136 – I think you are right. I didn’t look it up. Just going by memory.
Was Touki injured? Putting Wright on the roster instead of him or Muller was certainly a choice
@130. I believe he is ineligible for the World Series since he was replaced for injury in the last round.
There you go, Dans!
MLB’s language would imply that Ynoa is ineligible, period.
Ynoa is not eligible. Indeed, after he was replaced in the NLCS he could not play in this series per the rules. Even if healthy. Even if we wanted him. Do we?
Ynoa would be the most likely injury replacement were he eligible, yes.
If we’re backed into a corner then doing something crazy like starting Strider isn’t the worst idea. Gonna depend a lot on where the series stands, obviously. Manage to win the game in front of us and go from there.
Since Ynoa got moved off the roster with a shoulder problem he’s certainly not healthy anyway.
Scratch out a couple more runs, guys… enough with the hibernation… this team ain’t gonna lay down on us.
@ 147 – Exactly. Astros have 4 more at-bats. Tonight is a must win.
Ynoa hasn’t been right since he came back from the IL.
And there is Luke, just as we knew Snit would give him another chance. Would love to see him do well here.
Yeah, Luke! Nice to see the umps call a borderline one our way.
There will be a RH in the 8th. Since Luke is in the 6th, it’ll be either Chavez or Martin. They will not start a lefty other than Max. Pitching lefties other than Minter, Matzek, or Smith (or Max) is not advisable against the Astros. I’m sticking with my prediction of Wright in Game 4 (hopefully with a 3-0 lead).
Cmon Luke, we need you to not suck.
Darn, too bad he was running on the play, would’ve been an easy DP.
Yeah, Luke! You tell those ghosts to piss off!
Boy, nice pick by Ozzie there.
Players need to study Dave Justice and his check swings. He was the best at it. Just drop the bat.
Luke doesn’t like his fastball. Hard to pitch when the hitter can sit dead slider.
Oh man, that last slider was Luke’s best pitch of the inning. I’m so happy for him!
Luke is fine. He just doesn’t match up with the Dodgers for some reason.
Great job Luke! REALLY need more runs.
wipes brow…runs please
Anyone else watching the International broadcast? Dan Plesac dropping some zingers.
“The Braves’ offense is offensive to pitchers”
You can’t stop Eddie Rosario, you can only hope to contain him!
I think Baker made a huge mistake taking Odorizzi out. He was lights out and the Braves were flailing. And he’s a SP capable of going a full start’s length. But that’s good for us.
Welp. That’s what Stanek was in for. I was hoping more for a K to let Joc have a chance.
All of us old timers are freaking out about not adding on. Don’t blame us. We’ve seen some ish.
They are talking like the lead feels like a lot and I am over here feeling like it’s only a 2 run lead.
Unexpected for Luke to go two. Probably makes me wrong in my prior assumption. If it works then only Matzek and Smith need to be used.
That team can score runs in bunches…….we definitely need more runs.
That was the most animated I have ever seen Snoozer Kranitz. He was excited on the bench.
Luke! Great work, man.
Welcome back Luke. Great work!
Good job Luke, all is forgiven and forgotten.
Yeah, that was huge for Luke. The way things are shaping up, we’re going to need a lot of innings from him, and we definitely couldn’t afford for him to be mentally broken by the Dodgers series.
Damn, this bullpen. I hope they can hang on for another week.
Crazy bullpen work so far…
Still would love to slice out a run here
Dinks, doinks, and duck farts!
It’s a line drive in the newspaper box score tomorrow morning.
That was for Mallory.
I think they are challenging this to waste more time and have matzek sit for longer and mess with his routine.
Hmmmm get someone ready in the bullpen, i don’t care that this is Matzek. Better safe than sorry.
I thought that was gone.
Big pick by Freddie
Whoa, 99 on that strikeout of Tucker. Tyler’s mad.
Matzek is a little bit human.
Damn Eddie does it again! What a play!
You out, Flock of Seagulls…
Eddie wants another MVP
Rosario! He’s here, he’s there, he’s F*uckin’ everywhere, Rosario, Rosario.
And screw these clowns for challenging things that are obviously well called.
4 hour game in part due to Dusty Baker shuffling like the Mummy every time there is a pitching change.
Wow, Tyler got knocked around that inning
Am at the game. The juicebox did not enjoy that play
Three more outs… come on boys. Great play by Rosario, I don’t want this to get interesting.
I think I would give up baseball if I had to watch 81 games a year in this park. And it’s not even as ridiculous as it used to be, back in the days when it had the hill in center field and the flagpoles in play.
I actually kind of miss Tal’s Hill.
@198. Always makes me think of Andruw.
Also- gosh that was close.
That was strike 3, but d’Arnaud had to lunge for it, and that made the ump call it a ball.
Ball 4 was strike 3.
That was a strike. We got hosed again. That was well within the box they showed.
Although I hate these 0-2 counts going full.
1 down and 3 to go
Been watching Dusty Baker manage for years.
But why does he wear batting gloves again?
Whew. Smith sure got better after Diaz. Glad that’s over. I hope that’s the last disaster we have this year. It’s going to be hard not having Charlie for a second start. I felt like the Astros were ready to break out at any time after Charlie left.
Saying a little prayer for Max.
Held their offense in check!! Steal one on the road!! Great night except for poor Charlie and our SP situation going forward.
Surprised the announcers didn’t say anything (that I noticed) about the Braves having to basically burn Minter for the next two games and pitch both Jackson and Matzek more than an inning. Still, good to win the first one. Maybe Fried can go 6 or 7 tomorrow.
Probably not burned for 2 games. Thursday is a travel day. He should be good Friday.
I would usually be 100% for Muller replacing Morton. He was good in Atlanta. However he has not done well in the minors over the last few months. Unless he’s figured something out, my guess would be Strider.
Nobody is discounting that we used all our bullpen reliables in game 1, but we won, so to me it’s worth it. You win today’s game and worry about the next one later. Scrap together 3 more and nobody will care that Charlie got hurt. Yes it sucks. But think about how much more it’d have sucked to drop this game. Our entire pen has the whole off-season to rest up. And there’s an off day coming up. It’s asking for a lot, but I guarantee you all of them want the ball.
Obvious solution to the Morton situation is to sweep. I believe in Smyly.
If you wanted to mess with stuff since we’ve already done our job for these two games, really, you could turn tomorrow night into a bullpen game, push Fried and Anderson to Games 3 and 4, respectively, then bring both back on three days’ rest in 6 and 7, if necessary. That would split up the bullpen games (making them 2 and 5). I don’t know that I’m advocating for this, but it might be an option. The issue is since today was already a bullpen game essentially, we’re not really splitting up the bullpen games to any major degree.
@214 I thought Muller had done well his last few games at AAA. Strider throws strikes but he might throw too many strikes …… as in gives up too many big hits at this level. He is so inexperienced. Not sure how Touki was doing. Another thought is Tucker Davidson.
They just need to win the next 3 games so they don’t need a game 5 starter.
Recapped. Hot dog!