Good Guys 6, Evil Priests 11

May 13 is the feast day of Julian of Norwich.  A contemporary of Geoffrey Chaucer, her “Revelations of Divine Love” is the first book known to be written by a woman in the English Language.   Her theology is remarkably hopeful and generous in spirit; her vision of all-encompassing love resonates above doctrinal differences, dogmas, or artificial divisions in articulating a vision of God in which everyone is welcome.  Her most famous quote is “All shall be well, all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” 

I often use this space to remind everyone that the season is still young, that our Braves are a talented team, that the current run of mediocrity and downright poor play will not last.  There is every reason to believe that, ultimately, the team has a good chance to play meaningful baseball in September and October.  “All shall be well, all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” 

The most recent game (Friday the 13th of May) offered yet another reason to cast doubt on my faith.  In a see/saw game, the Friars topped our Braves 11-6.  After taking a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the 6th on a dramatic 3 run homer by Swanson (the ball was crushed, and the sold out house was rocking), the bullpen proceeded to give up 7 runs.  Three scored on a home run off Will “Hancock” Smith in the 7th (can I call him that again?) and 4 more scored in the 9th off Strider and O’Day.

Believe it or not, the game for a while was a pitching duel between our own Pontifex Maximus and the Padres’ Yu Darvish.  Through four innings, the score was 1-1; each team scored once in the third (the Braves’ run was a solo homer by William Contreras—what a revelation he’s been!).  In the 5th, the Padres plated 2 more in a 2 out rally that featured a bloop double that was barely fair and a 2 run ground ball single by Hosmer that found a hole.  That pitch was a slider that looked like a pretty good pitch to me.  The Braves climbed back within a run on an rbi single by Swanson in the bottom of the 5th,.  They wasted a chance to tie the game, however, when Olson struck out with a runner on third and one out, followed by a Riley flyout. 

Varsity gave up one more in the 6th, a solo home run by Myers, but escaped further damage by the skin of his teeth.  Max wasn’t as sharp as in his previous starts, but to my eyes he didn’t pitch badly at all.  Overall, Fried went 6 innings and gave up 4 runs.  Most importantly, he was in a position to get the Win, since the Braves rallied to take the lead in the bottom of the 6th.  (Since Chip wasn’t announcing this game, someone had to bring that up.)

As noted, however, the Padres promptly retook the lead in the 7th and poured it on in the 9th.  Meanwhile, the Braves failed to scratch in their final 3 turns at bat.

It’s hard to fault the offense when you get 6 runs on 12 hits and 4 walks.  Although Acuña rested for another day with his sore hamstring, Travis Demeritte was outstanding in the leadoff spot, reaching base 5 times on 3 singles and 2 walks.  The bottom of the order (Albies, Duvall, Contreras, and Swanson) once again did its job, as spots 6-9 in the order each had 2 hits, including the dingers by Contreras and Swanson.  Unfortunately, spots 2-5 (Olson, Riley, Ozuna, and d’Arnaud) went a combined 1-18.  Riley in particular is struggling mightily.  He sent 0-5 with 2 strikeouts and left 8 (!!) runners on base. 

In any event, you’re not going to win many games when the bullpen gives up 7 runs. 

So where does this leave us?  I could remind everyone once more that the season is still young and there is a long way yet to go.  But perhaps I should turn to another great wordsmith of the English language.  On May 13, 1940, in his first speech as Prime Minister to the House of Commons, Winston Churchill said: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering….You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs—Victory in spite of all terror—Victory, however long and hard the road may be.”

Dame Julian and Sir Winston would probably remind me that this is just a game. The fate of our immortal souls, or even the survival of democracy and human rights, are not at stake.  Nonetheless, I have faith that “All shall be well, All shall be well, and All manner of thing shall be well.”  The team can start to vindicate my faith by winning this afternoon behind Charlie Morton against Sean Manaea.

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.

95 thoughts on “Good Guys 6, Evil Priests 11”

  1. God bless your indomitable faith, tfloyd! As the sages said in the Talmud, one hour of pleasure in the World to Come is better than all the time in this world. Yet one hour of righteous deeds in this world is better than all the time in the World to Come.

  2. Proving once again a 100 mph fastball will not mean you are the next Nolan Ryan or rookie of the year. And lets wait until the season is at least 120 games old before we give Fried the Cy Young.
    Soon Swanson will pass almost everyone.
    Wait, I almost forgot he is also streaky.
    Opinions are only correct half the time.
    Facts almost all the time. But which are the most fun?

  3. Meh, looks like getting Acuña 100% might take a while. Time to trade for Jock Peterson.

  4. I don’t know why Snit keeps Ozuna in that 4-hole other than blackmail. He’s shown he’s willing to experiment with the lineup and reward good performances (moving Demeritte to #1 is a great example, as well as DHing Contreras). He’s also shown a willingness to “punish” poor performance (Dansby in the lower part of the lineup), but he seems dead-set on keeping Marcell there… it’s wild.

    I love seeing Contreras DH successive nights, that’s a really huge win.

  5. I’m as tired as anyone of seeing Ozuna in the middle of the order, but I’m guessing this is why he’s still there.

  6. tfloyd, well done yet again. Thank you.

    It is a long season, but it is shorter today than yesterday. Play better, Braves.

  7. Albies swung at 1st pitch again …. why would you ever throw him a strike .. and Ozuna swings at a pitch way outta zone .. wow ..some things never change .. do we have a hitting coach ???or is he afraid to get fired if he says anything …

  8. Guess Morton will have to throw a shutout to get a win … with the lineup and approach our hitters have … guess we shoulda kept Joc too ….

  9. Definitely time to move Ozuna down. Somehow, this hard hit rate seems like a false signal to me. He looks terrible at the plate. Also, it seems like Heredia is trending into Panda-land. We traded Panda for Soler; let’s trade Heredia (and a pitching prospect) for Benintendi.

  10. @15 …yes too bad he will have to give up 1 or less to win with our offense …

  11. Ozuna is a net negative offensively and defensively and has been bad at the plate for two years now. What does Arcia have to do to get a start?

  12. Chip says TDA has been setting up down the middle all day long as TDA jumps outside to catch called strike three on Machado…lol

  13. Ozuna’s hard hit rate doesn’t help when he continues to not put the ball in play.

  14. Curious move going back to Will after yesterday’s debacle. “It’s a bold move Cotton, let’s see if it pays off”

  15. Its time to call up Harris or Waters .. release Heredia … and hit Ozuna at DH at number 9 in the order … let a young guy get a taste …

  16. Ugh, Olson kicks it, and that puts the tying run on 2nd. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.

  17. @8: Calling Ozuna a “qualified NL outfielder” is one of those tricks of the English language.

  18. And there you go. I know the error was the problem but Snit’s luck isn’t what it was last post season

  19. well thanks for the effort Morton … and thanks Snit for a another stupid move …..

  20. Will wasn’t done any favors, but he’s back to being atrocious nonetheless.

  21. @25 hahahahahaha, I’m pretty sure Snitker isn’t smarter than any of us here on this website. Heck, even the russian bot might give him a run for his money.

    Last year was a lucky aberration and I am sooooo grateful for it.

  22. @33 They’ve won 4 straight division titles under Snitker.

    Will Smith is making $13M. He’s going to used in high leverage whether he deserves to or not.

  23. @34 Why does Minter have to go multi-inning when Smith and Jansen are rested? Smith needs to get outs. This is on him.

  24. Like to hear Snit explain using Will Smith again 2 days in a row after him giving up 3 the previous night .. recon he forgot last night ???????

  25. Snit’s free pass should be over. He has done a pretty bad job of bullpen management (again) and lineup management (again). Time for him to try the George Costanza “opposite” decision making process.

    But going back to Smith again was stupid even for Snitker decisions .

    It appears we used up all of our luck last year

  26. He was obviously trying to get him right back out there to let him get back on the beam or whatever.

  27. Run to the bag and throw for double play .. really ..this team has lost it .. defense now sucks

  28. I genuinely do not know why you guys defend Will Smith so much. Guys, Snit is going to throw Will Smith out there. He’s about 1/4 of the bullpen financially. Hands are tied there.

  29. @43 Will Smith is indefensible, as is Snit. The players can love playing for him but the ship is sinking

  30. @35 how much of that is due to player performance, or him being bailed out by the players.
    There’s a reason it is believed that the front office made the management decisions while in the playoffs the last couple of years.
    I believe that managers have little impact on the game, but snitker was an awful 3rd base coach who has been failing upwards because of the good ol boy mentality (and loyalty, I guess). I don’t hate the guy, but he has been more lucky than good.
    He’s definitely good at keeping the peace in the clubhouse, for whatever that’s worth.

    Just having Hancock pitchyesterday to 5 RH hitters, is a move no good manager would do, no matter his salary.

  31. @45

    Last October happened, and Will Smith gets credit for doing that in the mind of his manager. Sorry if you have a problem with that.

    @47

    It’s worth way more than whatever reason you think he should be fired in the first two months the season after winning the World Series is.

  32. A lot of that was not on Will Smith. Olson botched a grounder and Riley botched a double play.

    But it’s clear that Jansen and Minter are our best 2 relievers right now.

  33. I’m not gonna get further into it, I appreciate smith for what he did last year, appreciate snitker as well for that, and appreciate the team as a whole.
    They just don’t have it this year, and it’s fine, I am not going to stress over it.

    @48 Woah there, I never said fired. I don’t like him and think there are much better managers out there, that’s it. I didn’t agree with most of bobby cox’s tactics either.

    I’m starting to think how much differently would the team look with Freeman still in there……who knows, but I think it would be doing better than this.

  34. @43 .. so you play guys according to the money they make ??? guess so explains why Ozunsa still in cleanup .. maybe its in their contract .. …

    Section B: Will you make 13 mil ..go out every 2nd day and blow leads ..we pay you 13 mil to do that ..

    Section C: Ozuna continue to swing and miss and swing at pitches in other batters box ..we pay you 16 mil for that and hitting cleanup …

  35. @49 Agreed. But that also points to this not being Snit’s fault. First, it’s on Snit. Second, it’s on the defensive blunders. What’s Snit supposed to do here???

  36. @50 agreed. Last year was last year and this year is this year. We look as bad or worse than we did last year until August. But here comes Ozuna as the tying run and I bet most of us figure he will notch his 4th K

  37. @50 …. I think some complacency has set in and the drive is not there …. but i agree last year was worth it … see even we are complacent .. lol lol … fans are satisfied , players are satisfied , we let Freddiw walk .. ownership is satisfied ….

  38. Would pathetic be an understatement? More AAAA baseball. Major leagues, please. Let’s not be deceived, this is a major embarrassment. The Oklahoma girls team would sweep the joke called Atlanta Braves.

  39. @53 … he swings and there it goes ….. what happened ..he shut his eyes ????

  40. Lol, bailed out again.

    Lucky we didn’t get another TDA broken thumb or something there.

  41. Yes, the Statler and Waldorf contingent now has to come up with some sort of excuse for that happening. That was pretty funny.

  42. @59. Could be? Kept his front side closed more than he has been and didn’t pull off

  43. See, if it wasn’t for Snitker batting Riley 6th to get him going again, we would lose this game…..
    Maybe try that before he goes 3-40 and costs them a few games, Brian.

    @67 I’d say yes

  44. It’s actually big business. Players getting paid millions. Owners making millions.
    It has not been a game for many years.
    High school, college and the minor leagues are still a game. The so called major leagues, hell no.

  45. Didn’t see any Snitker praise after the boys accomplished the heroic comeback.

    Almost like a contingent of baseball fans will always blame the manager when something goes wrong, but give no credit when something goes right.

  46. @79 Ah man, can’t believe I missed that. Snit definitely should have thrown the rookies instead of the rested, $13M veteran.

  47. If I remember correctly, we had a ton of comeback wins in 2019, obviously 2020 was a weird year, and then we had less comeback wins in 2021 than 2019. And 2022 has been pretty lean on late inning heroics. That’s another big part of the psychology of this season: it’s easy to get used to your team going quietly into the night, and it creates some hopelessness once your team gets behind. Good to see the opposite today.

  48. What a great win. I suppose it’s possible that the whining and complaining in the comments here helped the Braves come back. But I’ve got to say that the negativity here is making the in game comments difficult to read.

  49. @83 – Agreed. Being concerned about the team’s direction is one thing. Basically giving up on them, implying that Snitker should be fired, and calling the team a joke that can’t beat a girl’s team is a wee bit of an overreaction over one game that we ended up winning.

  50. @83 This whining and complaining, so much a part of other blogs, has been gradually building here for years. There was more humor during Mac’s time.

  51. @78 you must have missed me praising snitker for batting riley 6th and waking his bat.
    I’m sorry I missed that Snitker also specifically ordered Ozuna to hit a HR, among other things, and thats why they won.

    Is snitker responsible for bullpen choices and deciding when to take them out? Yes

    Is snitker responsible for our guys hitting the ball? No
    Thats why it was a bail out

    Did maybe our guys desire to not let snitker look bad motivate them into having that rally? Plausible

  52. I don’t know. Mac complained as much as anyone. Though he did usually do so in a humorous way.

  53. Great comeback win. This team feels a lot like last year. I was very critical of Hancock last year. With his performance of the postseason, I will not criticise that man for a long, long time – and especially when it wasn’t really his fault last night. Go Braves!

  54. @88…Who is Hancock? Smith? Me neither.

    Acclaim please for the catch of this young season. Travis Demeritte showed, first, raw courage to make a total commitment to advance in an instant. There was a high risk he might end up looking foolish by not staying back. Making contact with the ball , to hold onto it he had to fight both an extreme velocity c/with a vicious side spin slicing away from him. Wow. ‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever.’

  55. @87 Yeah, and the end of Mac’s run was late 00’s, early 10’s. We were bad. This team just won the World Series and people are losing their minds.

    This is yet another exciting team with flaws that’s trying to smooth out the bad spots of the roster. Established veterans have not played well. I don’t have a lot of issues with the buttons Snitker is pressing.

  56. Wash to Riles

    An about face
    to which base
    should you first throw/ (go)?
    one might become two you know.
    In the alternative, last night, two became none
    baby distractions, you son of a gun!

  57. I have to admit that I felt like we were underperforming last year and was in the fire Snitker camp just before we turned it around. That was after half the season and I admit I was wrong.

    Snitker’s decisions have been reasonable this year (I don’t always agree with them), but the level of panic after 30 or so games has been ridiculous. We won a World Series last year! Let’s at least wait half the year before declaring that we won in spite of the manager.

  58. @91

    Happy Birthday to both.

    It was Smoltz last night who said if the Demeritte decision to advance at full speed had proved wrong the base runner would score from third and be immediately replaced there by the hitter. Stark choice.

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