The Streak is Dead; Long Live the Streak! Braves 3, Rockies 1

For the first time all year, the Braves won a third game in a row.  This new three game win streak ends the longest streak of no 3-game streaks (winning or losing) in baseball history.  As unprecedented and unlikely as it was (see JonathanF’s math lesson on that yesterday) I was getting pretty sick of that “streak,” so I say good riddance. The newly streaking Braves are now undefeated in the month of June and have carved two games out of the Mets’ division lead in the past two nights.

I agreed to do Friday recaps this year, largely because I’m not a party-on-the-weekend sort of guy.  My wife and I spend most Friday nights watching the Braves anyway, so might as well do the recap.  Tonight I had the opportunity to go out with family, including my two granddaughters, so I didn’t tune in until the end of the 8th

Turns out I hadn’t missed a thing—there was no score after 8. Varsity Fried had tossed 8 onion rings (Varsity fried onion rings are too limp to be very round, but they are probably as round as a goose egg).  Max was absolutely terrific, one of the best starts of his career.  Eight innings, 72 strikes in 102 pitches, with only 2 hits and 1 walk.  And all this in Coors Field!  Fried is truly an Ace.

Problem was, the offense hadn’t dented the scoreboard either.  It wasn’t for lack of opportunity.  They had 7 hits and 3 walks through 9 innings.  Not only that, 6 of those 7 hits were by the top 3 guys in the order.  How do you not score?  Two caught stealings (one each by Ronald and Dansby) plus a GIDP by Ozuna go a long way to explaining that. 

Turns out this was only the fourth game in the history of Coors Field to be scoreless after eight innings. It’s probably a good thing Chip and company weren’t broadcasting this one; after all the talk the night before about crazy offense in Coors Field,  I’m not sure what they would have said about this one.

So I watched the 9th, and it was more of the same.  Nothing doing for either team in the frame. AJ Minter had another excellent inning to send it to extras.  This was only the second game in Coors Field history that was 0-0 after 9 innings.

In the 10th, with one out and the Manfred Man on second, Ronald drew a walk in an excellent AB.  Dansby then was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  With Ozuna at the plate, a wild pitch scored the first run of the game.  In a game like this, you take them any way you can get them, especially since Ozuna promptly struck out for the second out.  Even with a run in, the Braves were not in a great position.  Given the stupid extra inning ghost runner rule, we all know a one run lead is not enough. Bud Black decided to walk Riley with first base open and bring in a southpaw to face Olson.  The count went to 0-2.  But on the next pitch, he drilled an outside pitch to left to score a couple.  That was perhaps the biggest hit of the year, putting the Braves up 3-0, and giving them an excellent chance to finally end the absurd non-streak streak.  Given all the wasted scoring opportunities in the first 9 innings, and the dominant performance by Fried, this could have been one of the most disheartening losses of the season, but Olson’s hit saved the day. The Rockies did indeed score one in the bottom of the 10th (all it takes is a single, you know), but Jansen shut the door to further damage and the Braves won 3-1.

The Braves could have scored more in the 10th.  After Olson’s heroics, Contreras walked to load the bases (he had entered the game when TDA was lifted for a pinch runner).  That brought Albies to the plate.  I love Ozzie, but he is driving me crazy.  With the bases loaded, he swung at a 3-1 pitch that was plainly inside.  That would have made it 4-0.  Instead, he fouled if off and then swung and missed the next pitch to end the inning.  This AB especially frustrated me, because he had done something similar in the 9th , when he pinch hit for Arcia.  TDA had just walked, and he never walks, so you know this pitcher is wild. The count went to 3-0. Sure enough, Albies swung away, flying out harmlessly to center.  Had he taken the walk, the go ahead run would have been on second with one out.  As I’ve said many times before, Ozzie could be a superstar, but he’s got to develop some discipline at the plate.

Swanson, on the other hand, has been terrific.  He had three more hits on the night to get his BA to .280, after hitting below .200 for the first month.  Ronald had two hits and a walk to bring his OBP up to .409.  Marcell, though, was 1-5 and his OPS is .684.  Why does he continue to hit third in the order?

Still, what a great win.  Thanks to the Dodgers second straight win over the Mets, the lead is down to 8.5.  Hey, it’s better than 10.5!  You know, the 1991 team trailed by 9.5 at the All Star Break, and they won the division.  The 1993 team trailed by 10 games on July 22, and they won the division.  Both teams, of course, went on tremendous extended hot streaks to overcome those leads.  So my advice to the Braves is to keep on winning.  Enough of this mediocrity; now that the non-streak streak is behind us, why not win about 10-12 more in a row?  I know, you’ve got to play them one game at a time.  The Braves go for four straight behind Aragorn/Elessar (you probably know him as Strider) on Saturday.

* * *

Sidenote to the Sidenote from  JonathanF last night about altitude and National League parks:  He and I remember well that for the first 27 years of the Atlanta Braves, they played in the ballpark at the highest elevation in the big leagues.  Atlanta Fulton County Stadium was known as the Launching Pad for good reason; most seasons, it was the best hitters park in the league.  Folks often credited the altitude for the fact that balls carried so well.  For some reason, the altitude at Turner Field (identical to the old park) and at Truist (which is about 100 feet higher than the older parks) hasn’t rendered them great hitters parks.  In any event, the park effect at Atlanta Stadium was nothing compared to Coors Field.

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.

93 thoughts on “The Streak is Dead; Long Live the Streak! Braves 3, Rockies 1”

  1. That’s a small consolation. Thanks, Braves14.

    Assuming that it’s accomplishing the goal of ending extra-inning games faster, I’ll hold my nose and unrealistically hope that they eliminate them when the pitch clock makes its inevitable debut.

  2. Let’s make it four and start a proper streak.
    Great performance by Fried and Olson coming through. Go Braves!

    Ryan, good job with your decision.

  3. I haven’t been a fan of the ghost runner rule. However, given the way the game was going, that game may still be going on without it.

    Also, thanks Ryan for banning Blazon. I always found his poems mildly annoying but the strange thing is he didn’t seem that negative. He just seemed to flip out for some reason.

  4. Long-time reader, first time poster.

    LOVE this place. It’s been a few years, just starting to know the personalities.

    The poems were annoying. That alone deserves the ban, IMO. Not sure what the explosion was for. But thanks from a quiet friend.

  5. When I went to sleep, it was scoreless, and I was frankly sure the Braves would lose somehow. Learning that they actually won is amazing! And it’s because Olson did something!

    One data point isn’t yet a narrative, but it sure is a sight for sore eyes.

  6. I haven’t studied it, and don’t plan to, but I think what happened is that the rest of the league caught up. Like I said, when Atlanta stood alone in altitude, the altitude made the ball go farther while the humidity (which I don’t think is that much higher than the humidity of a lot of other places: looking at you, STL) made the ball go less far, but the net effect was more homers. But then four things happened: (1) parks were built with smaller dimensions; (2) home run hitting became a skill that was taught; (3) parks were built in places with equal or higher altitude and much lower humidity; and (4) the new parks in Atlanta were built with larger dimensions than Atlanta-Fulton County. Those four factors made home runs a larger part of the game generally and shrank the Atlanta share relative to other places.

    This may all be nonsense that I’ve made up to explain why the new parks don’t have a reputation despite the slightly higher altitude on a bluff over the Chattahoochee, but it’s nonsense I’m willing to go with.

  7. When is the most screwed up sport on the planet going to get its act together. For those of you struggling for an answer.
    NEVER. Minter gets a win for one shutout inning. Fried gets nothing for eight.
    Baseball has always been and will always be light years behind. DH debacle, All Star Game debacle, runner on second stupidity, relief pitcher, scoring. On and on morinic decisions. A great game ruined by idiots. The incoming draft will as usual draw zero attention.
    Oh by the way, a great win for the Braves and Max.

  8. Reminder, if you buy from Lids, Braves Journal gets a small portion of the sale. Here’s some of my faves that are on Lids right now and if you use code “LIDS24” you’ll get free shipping.

  9. @10 Ryan, will clicking the link in your comment get the payment? If I decide to get one, I don’t want to accidentally miss whatever triggers that.

  10. @11
    Yes. Those links are custom links that inform Lids that it came from our site. And thanks Kenn! Have you been lurking for awhile?

  11. @13 since late last season. Might have even been Game 2 of the NLCS when my brother J recommended it.

  12. I question whether 1,000 feet of elevation has any notable effect at all. The differences between how the ball seemed to fly in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, Turner Field, and now Truist Park don’t do much to dissuade me from that thought, either. My guess is that the only park where elevation has a statistically meaningful effect on flight of the ball is Coors Field.

  13. This site http://baseball.physics.illinois.edu/Denver.html compares Boston with Denver, but leads to this site http://www.denysschen.com/catalogue/density.aspx that allows you to calculate the change in air density: taking an 80 degree day with 40% humidity at Truist yields an air density of 0.07/lbm/cubic foot. By contrast, the same day at Fenway is 0.0727 and at Denver 0.0599. Atlanta’s air is almost 4% lighter than Boston’s, but Denver’s is 21% lower. The effect is just about linear. If you lower Denver’s humidity to a more reasonable (for Denver) of 20% and give Atlanta a steamy 60% day, then Denver rises to 0.06 and Atlanta falls to 0.698, making up about half the gap between the Denver and Atlanta.

  14. @17: lol. With all due respect, this paper, by 3 Middlebury sophomores is something short of evidence. If I were still teaching economics and statistics, it would have earned a solid B, but I’m a notoriously lenient grader; it’s B level for college sophomores and would flunk as a paper by a first-year grad student.
    (a) Where are temperature and humidity as variables? Everyone thinks they are important. (See Adair for the definitive reference) when they are omitted as explanatory variables, their regression effect is mistakenly parceled out to the other variables.
    (b) You ought to worry a lot if including the big outlying factor invalidates your model. That’s a huge sign that there’s something wrong in your model. (Not necessarily of course, but that’s another three lectures on misspecification analysis.)
    (c) What about clustering? The better way to do this would be to compare home run rates by the same players home and away. That’s harder of course, but with this method when the Yankees get a lot of left handed power hitters, it makes Yankee Stadium look much easier to hit home runs in than it actually is.
    (d) and that’s just the start.

  15. Sorry… I wnet back and read it slightly more carefully and it’s opponents home runs, not all home runs. That’s slightly better, almost enough to earn then a B+. It won’t change the grad student’s grade any, though.

  16. @17–Hey, I found this with a quick google search. They wouldn’t put it on the internet if it wasn’t accurate, right? Anyway, I count on you for the economics and statistics.

  17. Higher humidity is a tough one because it simultaneously causes two effects that oppose one another. All things being equal a batted ball flies further through humid air (as humidity causes air density to decrease), while making the ball slightly heavier and lowering its rebound potential somewhat.

    Given the humidors are supposed to make all balls equal now (iirc, it takes 20+ hours for a significant change in rebound characteristics outside the box), I think we can say high humidity helps fly balls

  18. Tonight’s lineup is an improvement. Ozuna at DH batting 6th. Contreras catching. A lefty on the mound. Tonight should be more of a typical Coors game.

    Looking at FG rankings, the Braves have the best bullpen in the game assuming Strider is our 4th best reliever. He’s going to be a good 5th starter but until Matzek and/or Smith get good again, the bullpen has a big hole.

  19. I don’t know how much elevation independent of humidity and temperature makes a difference, but it is striking how much of an outlier Denver is as to elevation. It is over 4000 feet higher than the next highest (Phoenix), while the other 29 are only separated by about 1000 feet.

    As to humidity, if I’m not mistaken Denver probably had lower average humidity than all other cities when they joined the league. So Denver was an outlier on both. I assume Phoenix has far and away the lowest average humidity now.

  20. I had never thought about it, but would not have guessed that increasing humidity makes the air less dense. I would have thought the added water particles made the air weigh more per unit volume. But I guess if you hold pressure constant, then there are fewer nitrogen-oxygen particles per unit volume than in dryer air, and since the water particles weigh less you get less density. Always something to learn from this site.

  21. Ryan – is there a Braves Journal affiliate link program through fanatics or the mlb shop (which could also just be the fanatics page)?

  22. Interesting studies & discussion. Fwiw, in distance running, it’s widely believed that the impact altitude has on performance is nonlinear; there seems to be almost no difference between sea level and 3,000 feet, while there’s a great difference between performance at 5,000 feet and 8,000 feet. I had guessed that the same might hold true for baseball.

  23. 26 — It’s better, but until Ozzie starts hitting again I think he needs to be hitting at the bottom of the lineup with Duvall, not batting 5th.

  24. you know, I think I have not given Brian Jordan enough credit for the genuine insight he brings when talking specifically about hitting.

  25. Strider seems to have lost his command this inning.

    McMahon bailed him out by grounding out on the first pitch.

  26. How long has it been since Ozuna has done something other than strike out with runners in scoring position?

  27. Shifting when everyone is behind the fastball is even dumber than the normal shift

  28. What happens if Strider sticks as a starter, the rest of our starters are doing well enough to keep their job, AND Soroka comes back?

  29. This offense has become abysmal again. 15 consecutive scoreless non-Manfredball innings. At Coors Field.

  30. @41 – Strider goes back to pen. I honestly think tonight is who he is as a starter.

    Anyone else think the Rockies’ uniforms look like they’re from a slow-pitch softball league?

  31. @47 They look too much like license plates. Maybe like they’re in the prison league.

    The offensive futility is unbearable. I don’t have a problem with Ozzie batting 5th against a lefty, but, yeah, you cannot put Ozuna far enough down. That last inning was butchered by our best hitters – Harris, Acuna, Swanson.

  32. So I gave credit to Chip on Thursday for not mentioning the bunt in Coors Field. It’s like he’s trolling me now.

    @47: They remind me of those White Sox uniforms that also looked like beer league uniforms.

  33. Ozzie is only hitting .254/270/437 vs LHPs this season. He’s only been marginally better from that side of the plate.

  34. Watch Ozzie’s right (back) foot when he’s hitting righty. Once his weight transfers to his left (front) foot, his back foot slides away from the plate. He’s always done this, but it’s far more pronounced lately. Plus energy away from the ball, could explain off lately.

  35. Both the third and fourth ball thrown by Smith to McMahon are too close for the batter to take. Ump has to call one of those!

  36. @56

    On top of that, the guy would’ve very likely thrown Riley out at first, so it wouldn’t exactly have been fair to just give Riley first base. Moylan eventually got around to mentioning this, but it was like 10 minutes later…and when he did, BJ hilariously doubted they could’ve thrown Riley out.

  37. A side-arm or submarine pitcher can confuse a hitter. Not supposed to confuse the umpire.

  38. Heck if the bullpen can be like this for every Strider start, keep rolling him out there. They got their boy’s back!

  39. We finally win a dumb extra inning game and we decide we just have to immediately play another one.

  40. Good of Chip to remind us that the rules are the same in the 11th inning as they were in the 10th.

  41. Terrible at bat by Olson and Ozzie and now somehow Ozuna will hit into a double play even with two outs

    Edit- ok Marcel…my bad

  42. Duvall has had more good swings today than in the previous month. If he comes around, the OF starts looking a lotttt better!

  43. This is getting fun. Ozuna and Duvall coming through in the same inning was not expected

  44. I’m impressed he still remembers his choreographed HR celebration with Heredia…ha ha!

  45. Unfortunately we don’t get to face Chacin every day. I’m just glad we won after all that. Very nerve wracking game.

  46. Braves14: email it to me as well in case Ryan is busy. Send it to webmaster at wongpool.com (one of my many many aliases)

  47. I’ll be dadgummed. I went to bed and it was 1-1, and now you’re telling me we won another one in extras?

    Break up the Braves!

  48. Recapped by Braves14

    And JoshKinNJ: I run a home run pool with that evocative name.

  49. Ya’ll check my research – – but I don’t think the Braves have swept a 4 game series against the Rockies in Denver since 1993 (when the Braves went 7-0 against the Rocks in Denver).

    I don’t know about you – – but I’ve always thought Mile High was a house of horrors for the Braves. Never have liked playing there (but would LOVE to take in a game in person there soon).

    But the Braves really haven’t played bad in Denver: 65-53 all time Braves record on the road vs the Rockies.

    Let’s keep this streak going today…man, cold beer makes baseball fun. About the only thing better is WINNING. 😎

  50. @92

    Yeah, that number’s offset by the fact that we absolutely killed them the first couple years. And it seems to me that an inordinate number of the losses there have been of the “cover your eyes” variety.

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