Braves take rubber game from Marlins 6-3

Well, this is a little bit more like it. There have been a few irritating losses mixed in, to be sure, but the Braves are now 6-4 in their last 10. It’s not an eye-popping stretch, but if they can play like this as a baseline instead of how they had been playing, they’ll work their way into the playoff race.

As for today’s game, the offense came alive early and provided more than enough to help Max Fried along. It wasn’t Fried’s best outing, but it was good enough to get the job done. He allowed just one run over six innings, but scattered six hits and allowed three walks. The run came on a first-inning homer off the bat of World Series hero Jorge Soler.

The home side answered quickly in the bottom half, though, with back-to-back homers from Marcell Ozuna and Austin Riley. Ozuna hasn’t exactly been tearing the cover off the ball this year, but he did on his first two at-bats in this game. He launched his second (10th of the year) deep into the left field seats in the third to extend the Atlanta lead to 4-1.

In the fifth, run-scoring doubles from Riley and Matt Olson broke the game open, making it 6-1 and putting the Braves well on their way to the series victory.

Soler homered again in the seventh, this time off of Jackson Stephens, to pull his team two runs closer and put the Marlins within striking distance, 6-3. They got no more after that, though, as A.J. Minter and Kenley Jansen closed it out over the final two innings.

The Braves now head back out on the road, going out west to take on Arizona and Colorado over the next week. Neither of those teams is very good, so though it is a road trip out west, the Braves should be looking to at least go 4-3 on this seven-game trip, and I could be convinced that 5-2 should even be the target.

61 thoughts on “Braves take rubber game from Marlins 6-3”

  1. Yes, not the best Fried but, I suspect, the very best Osuna! Elegant and timely, thank you.

  2. @2 Consider how inexpensive it ultimately was to get Soler, Duvall, Joc, or Rosario, then you can definitely assume we will grab some outfielder, and Soler is by far the most logical option.

    There are always going to be a pile of guys that you simply cannot have a plan for as a contender, and really the only thing you can do with them is trade them for spare parts. Bryce Ball was never going to play in Atlanta. Bryse Wilson’s ship had sailed. But these are always guys that non-contending teams will want.

  3. Soler only makes sense if Ozuna goes away. I am still on the Benintendi train. No trade will happen until Harris has had enough time to see what he will be this year. I said a while ago that Harris or Waters should get a chance while Acuna was out but that chance went to Demeritte. Now with Rosario out the chance goes to Harris. I think sometime around the end of June, we will see what AA intends to do with Ozuna and Duvall and how Harris performs. Then the trade(s) will happen. If all of the three are failing then we may pick up two OFs. I still think I prefer Benintendi over Soler. The Braves lead the league in HRs but need someone to get on base in front of the sluggers.

    I like an OF of Acuna/Harris/Benintendi with Ozuna and Rosario platooning at DH. Either Duvall or Heredia can be kept as RH PH. Soler and Ozuna are awfully similar at this point (in cost as well as production). Benintendi is a better fielder, higher OBP, LH, cheaper – fills the holes much better. Don’t get me wrong; Soler is better than Ozuna but I think you can only have one of the two.

    Unfortunately, where would that leave Contreras. Lineup might look like:

    Acuna
    Benintendi
    Riley
    Ozuna/Rosario
    Olson
    TdA/Contreras
    Albies
    Swanson
    Harris

    I say that’s not bad and you couldn’t do much better with Soler. That is especially a great L/R mix with some switch hitters.

    P.S. How about Touki/Vines for Benintendi?

  4. 👆For context, Chelsea Freeman posted her emotional anguish after the deal with Atlanta fell through.

  5. I got more to say:

    That is such a lesson for all of us. Freddie Freeman will make over a quarter of a billion dollars in his career. Assuming significant continued earnings just off of his name and everything invested properly, he will be a billionaire. And you can say that Atlanta was cheap, but you ain’t going to change that. So why do that to yourself to make what is literally like an extra $10,000 to the rest of us? That just seems so puzzling.

  6. @7 as we age in work careers, many of us realize that being happy and comfortable is more important than money. I have turned down more money many times because I am happy with the company I work for and colleagues that I work with. It certainly looked like he had a great group to work with and coming of a World title, a pretty good company. Somebody got in Freddie’s ear and I think they have regretted it since day 1.

  7. My take on Freeman is he always felt he sacrificed to stay with Atlanta during the rebuild. He looked at last year’s negotiations and he said I’ll let my agent handle it fully this time. It was under the old regime, so AA didn’t care about last time.

  8. @9 That’s a perfectly fine strategy, but then you have to be willing to follow through with it. So if that means your agent tells you where you’re gonna live for the next half decade, are you prepared to do that? It looks like they weren’t. And all they got were a couple extra peanuts out of the deal.

    You can say that you’re going to let your agent handle the negotiations, but you’re still the one to make the final call about which deal you take. It’s just the agents job to put them on the table for you.

  9. Pretty sad that it looks like Andrelton Simmons is about washed up, at least offensively. (He’s only 32). He had a .558 OPS last year and in a small sample size this year his OPS is .434. I did not realize he had a 7.1 WAR in 2017 with the Angels, including the all-time best single season defensive WAR of 5.43.

  10. I find it unfortunate that they have gotten a lot of hate mail. That’s sad and they don’t deserve that. It’s just a game.

  11. @12 Yeah, that’s the ridiculous part. People should never go that far.

  12. @11–it is a shame that Andrelton never developed as a hitter. He’s pretty clearly the best defensive shortstop of all time—or at least of my now quite long lifetime. At his best he was Ozzie Smith with a much stronger arm.

  13. @14 I would want to specify highest peak defender, which given the nature of defensive stats comes w a ton of caveats.

  14. Though to totally agree with you, if Andrelton had turned into a league average hitter he was a superstar. That seems weird to say, but it is true nonetheless.

  15. You are correct about Simmons. In 2017 and 2018 Simmons was pretty much league average offensively. He was 8th in the MLB in WAR in 2017 and 18th in 2018. In 2017 Freeman had 28 homeruns and a .989 OPS and was 48th in WAR.

  16. Speaking of defensive value, a question for the hive mind. Olson has a reputation as a better defender than Freddie. I have seen only 1 game on TV so I can’t tell, but does that seem true so far? He certainly is slower than Freddie.

    @17 With a comment like that, we need Chief here to say defense is overrated. I know the math adds up, but it is still jarring to see the respective values written like that.

  17. Look at the list of all time defensive WAR (among all positions): https://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/WAR_def_career.shtml
    If Simmons could play regularly for as long as Ozzie or Brooks Robinson, he could wind up as the all time leader. It’s crazy how high he is on the list in far fewer games than the rest of the top 25.
    BTW, look how high Andruw is among outfielders. Pretty clearly the highest peak value of any outfielder.

  18. I can’t say that I understand defensive WAR. In 2018 Freeman had a 6.1 WAR compared to a 4.5 WAR in 2017 despite 5 fewer homeruns and and almost 100 points lower OPS in 2018. He had a -.5 dWAR in 2017 at both 1st and 3rd. His dWAR in 2018 was +.2.

    That being said, I think the defensive value at shortstop is huge. I fully buy into Simmons’ dWAR during that time.

  19. Simmons might have been a better defender at his peak than Ozzie Smith ever was, at least in terms of ability (and he was a joy to watch), but I think he may have been less valuable defensively. There were so many more strikeouts during his career than during Smith’s that Smith had many more opportunities, so his marvelous defense may have saved more runs than Andrelton’s possibly slightly more marvelous defense.

    According to BRef, Smith’s best RF/9 was 5.87, while Andrelton’s was 4.92 (only 4.41 in 2017). Most of that difference is likely due to opportunities, as the average RF/9 for SS during Smith’s career was 4.78, compared to 4.12 during Andrelton’s so far. Smith even appears to be a little more above league average than Andrelton, both for their careers and in their best years. I’m not sure how to square that with WAR (both bWAR and the version you were using) saying Andrelton’s 2017 was significantly better than any of Smith’s years.

    Still, between Andruw & Andrelton, we’ve seen some marvelous defense over the years.

  20. Ozuna at Coors Field later this week is going to be comical. Get “Yakety Sax” ready for the lowlights.

    What a team. All the little things done poorly.

    And Chip going gaga over Strider two batters before a shot gets golfed over the right-field fence makes it worse.

  21. I like Snit, but the decision to play Ozuna in the field is unsound and on him.

    Side note in re: Chelsea, show the hate mail and let’s shame these idiots. Part of me thinks that folks provided some mild criticism of the move and it’s now deemed “hate.”

  22. @25 Get ‘em, Overlord.

    Just a pathetic display of effort by Ozuna. Dude, just freaking try.

  23. I turned the game on basically just after the home run trot. Does a real OF catch the fly ball double?

  24. I thought he just tried to slide for the ball way before it got there instead taking a few more steps.

    Kind of a smaller version of that play in St. Louis where he tried to climb the wall then the ball landed in front of him on the track.

    I’m not sure that was a lack of effort. Just not good at judging fly balls. Or not very smart.

  25. @32 When you know you have a deficiency, then the responsibility is on you to compensate. If you’re dumb, then you need to run as hard as you can while dumb. I don’t see that from him. This is not a guy with a high motor, to borrow a cliche expression.

  26. He was running and slid for the ball. Just an hour before it got there.

    I wish Snitker would bat him after Riley and Olson instead of before them. His OBP is terrible and his K in the first with runners on the corners was the key reason why we only got one.

  27. Ozuna is a drain defensively and many times offensively. But Snit likes “his guys” so it is what it is

  28. Noble imperfection from Strider, deserved better, he’ll already be the highlight to watch every week.

    Lee in a big spot.

  29. Wow…Olson again

    Doesn’t hit, doesn’t field. I think he will be ok eventually but we can’t keep dropping games while he figures it out

  30. Olson’s defensive misadventures are basically the encapsulation of this entire team. Inexplicable.

  31. So, all of the Diamondbacks’ runs come after pathetic defensive lapses.

    I’m out for the night. I’m too old to be this frustrated at a team. Going to watch what’s left of the hockey and then I’ll read a book.

  32. Ozuna and Olson play high school level defense. Just embarrassing. Ozuna has no business being in the field and the more they play him they get exactly what they deserve. Three runs because Olson can’t stinking catch (again)

  33. @44 yeah I get it but any level of high school varsity player could make the plays Olson doesn’t make. He might be among the worst defensive first baseman I have ever seen. He has dropped like 3 or 4 throws now. Who does that?

  34. Olson currently is a disgrace. He needs therapy, now, and he knows it, before he throws/hits more games away. Look what he’s cost us just in this game, Strider / Lee. GRRR.

    Good to see a full travelling complement of our booth gang tonight, in full voice. BJ again plenty to say but all piling in.

  35. Defense is mental. The same things Chelsea Freeman talked about, Matt Olson is also experiencing to some extent. When the Braves and Dodgers decided to pit these guys against each other — and I don’t fault them for doing that — it signed both of these guys and some of their family up for a really weird situation. I don’t think Olson is comfortable.

  36. Lindor does not run out all 50/50 ground balls with any predictability. What a guy to have around- another big contract. Olson at least tries, too much likely. Mets with comfortable lead.

  37. Anyone notice that the same guys in the Arizona order are responsible for all their RBIs that the Braves have costing them the game (3, 4, 5). This is the main difference in this game.

    It is time for Acuna to stop DH’ing. Acuna/Harris/Duvall would be a good fielding OF. I just hope Olson can eventually turn it around, if not this year then the next few.

  38. @51

    You are right – but understated, it is hard to watch. Lo and behold, another double with the bases empty.

  39. It would probably do Mrs. Freeman (and lot of people) good to get off social media for a while. I’m a nobody and can hardly stand it sometimes. Most of what I’ve seen on social media are just a few jackasses accusing her of wanting the Hollywood glitz-and-glam life and hence blaming her for Freddie leaving.

    It’s been very uncomfortable for me to see Freeman in a Dodger’s uniform. Once Freeman’s career is in the books, I do having a feeling that both Freeman and the Braves will come to seriously regret how they were not able to come to an agreement, irrespective of how Olson pans out.

  40. @57
    Great post.

    On the question of therapy for those afflicted on the playing field I remember when I was kicking field goals for Notre Dame back in the fifties and, unaccountably, went 0 for 17, they couldn’t wait to summon the yellow van and hauled me off kicking and screaming – very apropos.

    2 weeks or so on the IL is a realistic source of relief for all parties in the real world. Think up an excuse, an obscure bone somewhere. Maybe the one that snaps the glove shut.

    And Mr. Editor please…. my third request that we start each day with a fresh thread…of our excellent recappers, some who can manage the night before, great, the others start the new one with a bang for their summary. are best served that way. As are we, the old one starts to look stale. Thank you.

  41. Memorial Day in the Minors…

    8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K,

    AAA …who would you guess?

  42. @57

    Hollywood
    originally, I never thought I could
    but following a recent transaction
    you might say
    we’re more the center of attraction.

    Mercifully, that’s all folks – how about some new posts from you guys – in an old thread?!

  43. Sorry, Blazon and all. It’s my turn. I’ll get something up in a bit.

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