Braves sweep away D-backs, Austin Riley breaks Hank Aaron’s club record for extra-base hits in a month with walkoff double in ninth

The Braves defeated the Diamondbacks 1-0 Sunday in a good, old-fashioned pitcher’s duel, sweeping them out of town in a three-game set. It moved Atlanta to 62-41 on the season and left them three games back of the New York Mets for first place in the division. They’ve opened up considerable space in the wild card race, though, pulling 6 1/2 games ahead of St. Louis in the race for the final playoff spot and five games ahead of San Diego in the race for the top wild card spot.

Austin Riley broke the club record for most extra-base hits in a month with his final swing of the month, a game-winning RBI double into the right-center gap that managed to score Matt Olson all the way from first for the one-run win.  That gave him 26 extra-base hits for the month of July, besting the great Hank Aaron’s July 1961 for the Milwaukee Braves by a single extra-base hit. He also had a double in the second inning (about which more in a second) that seemed to me to be his 10th double that came within a foot or two of being home run this week (somebody’s gonna have to check my math on that), so he needed two extra-base hits today for the record and he got them both. Pretty incredible.

Max Fried was outstanding (despite not knowing how to win). After a few rocky-ish starts (to be fair, only one was actually bad), he was back to the Max Fried we all know and love today. Seven shutout innings, four hits, two walks and five strikeouts. Three of those hits came over his final two innings, which he labored through a bit.

The bullpen was great for a couple innings, as well, with Dylan Lee and Kenley Jansen combining for two innings of hitless relief with two walks and two strikeouts.

Next comes a two-game set with Philadelphia at home, followed by a five-game set (an original four-gamer with a doubleheader thrown in) against the Mets. That latter series could wind up being huge if somebody takes four or five games…or not so much if it finishes 3-2. As Chip would say, let’s see how it plays out.

Now, a random oddity: the play that ended the bottom of the second.

For those of you who didn’t see, the Braves had Travis d’Arnaud at first and Riley at second with William Contreras at the plate with one out. Contreras hit a screamer toward the left-field corner that Arizona left fielder Jake McCarthy appeared to catch with a leaping attempt. However, he was rapidly approaching the wall when he landed. He took a couple steps, hit the wall, and the ball popped out of his glove. This is not a legal catch. However, the problem was that the umpire apparently called “out,” freezing the baserunners, before seeing the ball pop out and calling “no catch.” This turnabout caused mass confusion on the basepaths, and Riley and d’Arnaud were forced out at third and second, respectively, for a rare fielder’s choice/double play.

First of all, there was nothing the umpires could do via replay. It was either a catch (which it wasn’t), in which case Contreras is out and Riley is out at second, as he was nowhere near the bag there when the ball arrived, or it was a non-catch (the correct call), in which case neither Riley nor d’Arnaud made the next base before the ball got there, meaning they’re both forced out. Either way, inning over.

I saw a lot of complaining about the umpire here, but I really think it was a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t situation. We occasionally see plays where an umpire waits to make a call on a play like this, and it never goes well. Umpires are taught to make a call, not sit there and think about it. Because if they sit there and think about it, the baserunners have no idea what in the hell to do. So this umpire quickly made a call. But here’s a situation where that call turned out to be incorrect and he had to immediately reverse it. I’m kind of sympathetic to the umpire here, and I’m not sure what the right answer is. I guess you could say that if you see an outfielder about to hit a wall, don’t make a call until after. But then you’re stuck holding everybody in limbo for 2-3 seconds. If he doesn’t make a call of any type until after McCarthy hits the wall and the ball pops out, maybe Riley and d’Arnaud get to the next base. But I’m not sure they wouldn’t have seen the initial catch and gone back to their original bases anyway. It looked like this play might wind up deciding the game, and it didn’t do that. Nevertheless, I found it endlessly interesting as one of those crazy baseball plays where nobody on the field knows what’s going on.

197 thoughts on “Braves sweep away D-backs, Austin Riley breaks Hank Aaron’s club record for extra-base hits in a month with walkoff double in ninth”

  1. Thanks. Great write-up.

    Max knows how to win, but the National League decided to stop letting him do it this year.

  2. Thanks for that explanation on the play. Certainly an odd one, and I’m glad it didn’t cost us the game.

  3. Seems like I missed a hell of a game. Max and Riley putting the team on their back is pretty cool.

    Also, I just realized the deadline’s tomorrow at 6:00pm. Baseball is weird these days.

  4. I largely agree with you on that play Nick, so I’ll revise my “screwed up” to “ruled prematurely as they’re supposed to” but are you sure Riley didn’t tag up? In which case I think the fairest result would have been Contreras out (not because he was actually out, but similar to an inadvertant whistle in football… in this case an inadvertant out sign) and either first and second or first and third.
    If you don’t allow players to freely rely on umpire’s signals you’re going to open a Pandora’s Box. Suppose an umpire rules that a ball is trapped in the outfield but replay shows he’s wrong. Can the outfielder throw to first to double up the runner who depended on the trap call?
    Now maybe you can argue that the players weren’t misled because they weren’t depending on the ump’s call, but on their own looks at the play in the outfield. If so, then I think the final ruling was correct.
    As an aside, listening to Jeff Francoeur have no idea what the rules of baseball are is pretty funny.

  5. OK so I just watched the replay of William Contreras’ 2nd inning flyball again, here’s what looks like happened with the runners (hard to see everything because the TV broadcast is focused on the flyball and then the left fielder, not the runners): (1) both Riley and D’Arnaud took secondary leads with the ball in the air; (2) umpire signals ‘out’ and both runners retreat to their bases; (3) ball pops out of McCarthy’s glove (in the far left field corner while he was facing the wall, runners likely wouldn’t have been able to see it even if they’d somehow still been looking), umpire changes ruling from ‘out’ to ‘safe’ so now there are force plays at 3rd and 2nd base; (4) Riley and D’Arnaud reverse course and head for 3rd and 2nd respectively; (5) McCarthy throws to 3rd base for out #2, 3rd baseman throws to 2nd base for out #3.

    I think the umpire was incorrect to change the ‘out’ call to ‘safe’ but it was clearly a judgment call within the umpire’s purview. If the ‘out’ call was maintained I assume that Riley and D’Arnaud would have returned safely to 2nd and 1st base. Riley was “nowhere near the bag there when the ball arrived” at 2nd base only because he was forced to attempt to advance to 3rd base when the ump reversed himself.

    At any rate – it was really just a bad luck set of circumstances for the Braves. The left field ump did his job correctly and Riley/D’Arnaud were placed in an impossible situation. If you think about it, that was just about the worst configuration of baserunners on the field for Atlanta, compared to:
    (1) bases empty – Contreras has hit a double
    (2) runner on 1st – Contreras reaches on a single, runner on 1st base is out at 2nd base on a force play
    (3) runner on 2nd – Contreras reaches on a single, runner on 2nd base returns there after ‘out’ call
    (4) runner on 3rd – runner on 3rd base scores, Contreras reaches on a double
    (5) runner on 1st and 3rd – Contreras reaches on a single, runner on 1st base is out on a force play, runner on 3rd base scores
    (6) bases loaded – force outs at 3rd and 2nd

    Sometimes wacky things happen in baseball. Glad it didn’t end up affecting the outcome – the Braves need all the Ws they can get!

  6. I think the issue with the “they should’ve just left it at an out” line of thinking is that, if you read the rulebook, it clearly wasn’t an out.

    Rule 5.09(a):
    A catch is the act of a fielder in getting secure possession in his hand or glove of a ball in flight and firmly holding it… . It is not a catch, however, if simultaneously or immediately following his contact with the ball, he collides with a player, or with a wall, or if he falls down, and as a result of such collision or falling, drops the ball… . In establishing the validity of the catch, the fielder shall hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball and that his release of the ball is voluntary and intentional.

    So I don’t know how you would read the play as a catch based on that. I guess you could say it wasn’t “immediate,” but there was no doubt that his release of the ball was involuntary. I guess you could say “well, I called it an out” and then go to replay to say that it wasn’t and award Riley third and d’Arnaud second, but I just don’t think umpires are trained to call a play wrong so that they can go fix it in replay for minimum impact.

  7. @7–I had forgotten that play. But now that you’ve reminded me, I remember it very well. I can picture Harper vaulting over that railing, after running with the ball for what seemed like ten steps. I know the article says it was 4 and a half steps, but in my memory he ran a long way.

    And yes, I’m also still mad about it. I’m not as mad as I’d otherwise be, though, because Phil Niekro pitched a two hit shutout the next night (the Monday of the last week of the season) and followed that up with another complete game shutout victory on Friday, which included his hitting a two run home run. Niekro did all this at the age of 43. The Braves won the division by a game.

  8. #7/8
    That’s the first thing I thought about after yesterday’s play. Glad it didn’t hurt us like that Terry Harper play in ’82. In that moment, it seemed like the worst luck at the worst time of the season.

    The ump followed the book, it seems. And he made his 2 calls as quickly as he saw them.

    However, I certainly don’t think the LF hitting the wall was simultaneous or immediate. And how many steps is a fielder allowed to take before running into a wall makes him drop the ball, therefore nullifying a catch? Three? Five? 10? IMO, the rule is kinda flimsy in that respect.

    In the end, it’s just a weird play b/c the moment the ump signals “out,” the 2 runners quit looking at him & run back to their bases, unknowingly doomed. I know you’re taught to look at your third-base coach if you’re confused on the bases, but it seems like everyone was confused.

  9. I would not be surprised to see Adrianza sent down, if he has options, or DFAd fairly quickly. I think he is just an insurance policy in case they can’t make an acceptable deal. The other possibility is that Ozzie is making better progress than reported and/or we are planning to make a big splash with an outfielder.

  10. Cano was DFA’d so Adrianza takes his place. Can’t be worse, and Ehire can at least play several positions cromulently. Minor move but helps until Ozzie gets back.

  11. Yep, we were in “Great move! Who’d we get?” territory with him. Shame the guy won’t make it to the Hall of Fame. Hell of a career, but like an awful lot of New York Met second basemen — Carlos Baerga, Roberto Alomar, Jeff Kent, Daniel Murphy, Gregg Jefferies… — he did not do his best work in Queens.

  12. Another interesting thing about the catch rule is that plays like this, where an outfielder catches the ball and takes multiple steps before hitting a wall, may be ruled as non-catches. But a player trying to quickly take the ball out of his glove to make a throw barely has to catch the ball…in some cases, it seems he never has to have control of the ball, depending on the judgment of the umpire.

  13. Well Adrianza is a upgrade over Cano .. can move and play defense .. not gonna light up the hit column but I do remember him getting a few clutch hits for us …. now we gotta get a OF bat and maybe a pitcher we have enough in the farm to get it done ..maybe not but if you have to over pay for a Drury or Happ then go for it !!!!!!!!!!!!! We are in it to win it !!!!!!!!!! Not 2nd place

  14. I did not see Contreras’ 2nd inning flyball yesterday, but from the description…shouldn’t it have been an infield fly?

    Yes–still upset at that.

  15. Per my understanding, all fly balls are infield flies, because it’s possible one of the infielders is Superman and could catch them with ordinary effort.

  16. Here is how I see things shaking out with our 4 man bench:
    C- Contreras/D’Arnaud (no change)

    OF/1B – Ford (ultimately this spot goes to Adrianza – he has played every IF and OF position except catcher – can’t play CF)

    Infield – Adrianza (temporarily replaces Cano – ultimately this spot goes to Arcia when we get a true 2B, Adrianza takes Ford’s spot)

    Outfield – Heredia (new outfielder platoons with Rosario)

    DFA/ Release – Cano, Ford, Heredia
    Acquire – Adrianza, true 2nd baseman, platoon partner for Rosario

    I don’t know what we do about a relief pitcher or starting pitcher. Yates is an easy replacement for Will Smith, but I don’t know if we need to release any of our other relievers. I don’t think we have the prospect package for a starting pitcher if we make the position player moves above

  17. Wow–Riley has signed a 10 year, $212 million extension.
    AA continues to surprise–usually in a very good way! I’m not that surprised he’s locked Riley up, but amazed he did so the day before the trade deadline. Alex is quite the multi-tasker.

  18. It’s great to lock the core up. $20M won’t be what it is even right now in 10 years.

  19. @23 I don’t think Heredia is going anywhere or else he’d be gone by now. I suspect the best we’ll get is a 2B (Drury??) and a reliever. If we do get Drury, he’ll be both an IF and OF option.

  20. @32 – A batting average below. 130 will only buy a few more sword slashes. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s dfa’d, no one claims him, and he’s back on the team in September. Rosario needs a platoon partner or to be replaced. I think replacing Heredia is more likely than Rosario.

  21. They announce Riley cause we are done .. soften the blow of not being able to improve team this year …

  22. @37 I’ll keep that in mind for tomorrow. It isn’t really how AA works, i think.

    Also, that Riley deal is legit fantastic i think. Definitely substantially under market even if he’s a step worse than he’s been this year.

  23. I don’t have a lot of smart analysis here on this one. Just HELL YEAH! LET’S GO!!!!

  24. @37 – Always looking for a cloud in the midst of a silver lining. I think Odorizzi for Smith is a tremendous deal and much better than I would have ever expected for Smith. Odorizzi has not been spectacular, but he’s been solid this year. Last year most of the deals were not announced until the very end – 1 or 2 were even announced after the deadline even though they were made just before. I thought last year’s deadline deals had maybe a little bit to do with us winning the World Series. I guess that was all an illusion.

  25. So long, Bad Willie. Thank you for an excellent October 2021. May you find success pitching against the Yankees.

    Welcome Jake. Don’t give up any runs. Ever.

  26. And added Robbie Grossman for almost nothing. Trading Smith for Odorizzi is a good swap and cost-cutting measure.

    I wonder if the Braves go with a 6-man rotation or if Strider goes to the pen.

    So now we have Adrianza for Cano, Grossman for Ford, and Odorizzi for Smith. I’m not sure either Grossman or Adrianza is the answer for 2B and LF. The Odorizzi add is a good one – a good innings eater. He’s never been in the pen so it’s more likely that Strider will spend time there. If there’s a chance of getting a solid hitter to replace Heredia, I’d still like to see that happen (still hoping for Drury). I’m not sure Grossman is any better than Dickerson.

    Heck, I’d drop either Adrianza or Grossman for Drury.

  27. I’d be shocked if they didn’t find ways of skipping some of Strider’s starts here and there to keep his innings down.

    And agreed, Roger. Good moves, though very minor.

    The Odorizzi pickup is a really nice way of trading from strength for depth. The Astros may be able to fix Smith or not, but Odo is a reliable innings eater and our depth was looking dangerously thin beyond a recently injured Kyle Muller.

    The Grossman pickup feels a bit like the Vogt pickup. He can outhit Guillermo Heredia. That’s all, but that’s enough to be worth the opportunity cost. He’s organizational depth at a position where we need more.

    Second base and corner outfield are still precarious, especially given that Ozzie’s health still appears to be a great unknown. In Alex we trust. Pull another rabbit out of the hat, pretty please?

  28. Odorizzi is a much better player than I would’ve expected Will Smith to fetch. That’s a great trade, we definitely need more SP depth.

  29. I think they must have seen some of the same upward trends in Grossman’s hitting that they saw in Duvall, Soler, and Rosario last year. I can’t complain. Let’s make 2 more deals.

  30. If trading away Will Smith is what it takes to get Snit to stop using him, then by all means…

    Gross man just looks like a Brave. I’ll take it.

    Rumor has it we’re in on Syndergaard. With Odorizzi, not sure how I feel about that. Two years ago, sure!! Now, not so much.

    Still hoping for Ian Happ.

  31. Interestingly, looking at Grossman’s splits, he is bashing lefties making him a good platoon with Rosario in LF. And a good RH PH.

  32. Every year at this time and offseason I would say the same thing…since Alex joined the Braves, in Alex I trust.

    Smith for Odorizzi ? That’s just genius work.

    The Riley deal is amazing. I hope Dansby and Max will follow with their own long term deal with the Braves,

  33. As others have said, in AA we trust

    I’d like to see a power RH reliever today, and anything else is just gravy

  34. Very good on the Ordozzi / Smith trade … was hoping for Drury or Happ instead of Grossman but guess price was more than AA had or wanted to pay … you need some POP from your outfield spots and Grossman only having 2 HR’s ?? really … maybe he is a defensive guy .. hooray

  35. My gut tells me that Will Smith wasn’t a real popular guy in the organization. It’s interesting that he won that good human award a few years ago, because he really just seems like an asshole. Really started to seem like a guy that didn’t fit on this team. Hope Odorizzi can stay healthy and evenings.

  36. I think these are the types of moves that we need to be making. I don’t think there’s a need for a huge blockbuster. You have Yates and maybe Soroka coming back. You need to give Rosario at bats. Ozuna is owed a lot of money. Arcia is not gonna be much worse than another short-term replacement. There’s only so much you can really do with the roster other than tinker with it in the margins.

  37. When you’re 21 games over .500 you just need to tweak things.

    These are very good moves. And the Riley signing is fantastic. Full disclosure, I thought he was a AAAA guy two years ago and couldn’t have been more wrong about him. Glad to be wrong.

  38. @59 – All that is true, but I still think we have 1 more trade for a 2nd baseman who can at least platoon with Arcia. It is all about the playoffs. An upgrade at 2nd can give us a win or 2 until Ozzie gets back and can be a great bench piece for the playoffs if Ozzie gets healthy

  39. @60, yep, I believed Keith Law on the “slider-speed bat” concern. But the dude isn’t just a superstar — he is “the top third baseman in baseball.” I’d say that’s about as good a way of spending $200 million as I can think of.

  40. It has been interesting to monitor the “Braves aren’t doing anything” on here. After the last 3 years, to me, SOMETHING was coming.

    Also, I don’t think we are through. If Padres get Soto, watch for us getting Snell for nothing but picking up salary (Soto puts Padres over the salary tax level and Snell moving off keeps them from owing tax). I didn’t create that one (I read it somewhere) but it made sense.

    I think Odorizzi may be our right handed power reliever. As in Strider shifts out over the next few weeks and starts working a one or two inning relief stint every two or three days. Then, maybe you stretch Strider back out the last week of the season.

  41. @39 ..told you we were done with anything significant … Grossman .200 hitter with 2 HR’s this year for a OF bat is weak … W Smith for Ordozzi is the best part ..significant ??? NOPE .. just 2 teams swapping contracts unless we get a Drury or Happ today then its been tiny tweaks .. Grossman instead of Ford .. a little better there .. Ordozzi for Smith .. good move .. not significant .. Adrianza for Cano .. improvement for sure .. these moves are improvements I will admit but not significant … nothing on the level of Rosario, Pederson and Soler last year ..

  42. Selfishly, I’d love for the Braves to DFA Heredia and grab Brett Phillips, who was just DFA’ed by TB. Seen him multiple times, and he’s the nicest ballplayer I’ve ever met. He’s not hitting this year, but had a .700 OPS last 3 years and can play CF better than Heredia.

  43. @65 Well the day isn’t done yet and we were all complaining last year at this time of the day with our lack of moves and look what happened.

  44. @65 – I think if we traded Marcel Ozuna straight up for Mike Trout you would complain that Trout doesn’t fill our need for a DH. The moves last year at the deadline didn’t appear earth shaking but they were some of the most impactful deadline deals ever made. I’m not expecting quite that big of an upgrade this year, but we’ve already improved the team significantly and I don’t think we’re done. Getting Odorizzi for Smith was huge. We have until 6 pm Eastern time.

  45. @68 exactly. trading Smith was the great trade, who did we get” situation as has been mentioned before. Getting Odorizzi for him is a huge bonus. I still wouldn’t close the door on a Soler return or a 2nd baseman, especially not knowing Ozzie’s outlook for the rest of the season

  46. Being pissed off at 10 in the morning on the day of the trading deadline because the Braves, after already making three moves and probably more, have not made the trade you want them to make says more about the way you see the world than the Braves.

  47. @71 Yeah, that is difficult to understand. Maybe they see something in his delivery that Kranitz or the coaching staff didn’t?

  48. Well, the Astros did have a front row seat to Smith’s unhittability last October. They must see something.

  49. What a weird tenure for a player. It’s hard to imagine a more polarizing figure regarding his on-field performance. There were warning signs in 2020. He’ll live in Braves lore forever given his performance in October 2021.

  50. Also, he’s spent most of the last decade in the National League. Switching to the league where hardly anyone has faced him will probably help Smith’s effectiveness. Could be he’s literally worth more to them than he is to us.

    And I think Happ could be a dark horse in all this. He’s really only pretty good, he’s about to turn 28 and he’s definitely not getting better than he is right now, so I can’t imagine he’ll be that expensive, but he’s also probably better than what we’ve got in the outfield right now, plus he came up as an infielder so there’s a chance he could help us there too. He seems like a gold star on the list of league-average guys who are a cheap way of upgrading below-average performance. The Cubs know they need to move him, but Contreras is way more valuable, and I think we just might be able to get a deal.

    Also: baseball-reference is running a discount right now on Stathead subscriptions. Wanna be more like JonathanF? Now’s your chance!

  51. @76: Can I be less like JonathanF? Younger, 30 pounds lighter with more hair and a better golf game?

    But yeah… if you like the Stathead stuff I post, you can get a year for about $5/month.

  52. Will outperformed himself in the playoff. He was overused last year and he couldn’t get his velocity back. He has been consistently at 91-92 while he was at 94 during the playoff.

    We will forever thank the guy for the great playoff run but he just couldn’t do it this year.

  53. I do think things are more complicated with Smith, though, than just his pitching performance. This is a team with Ronald Acuña and Ozzie Albies and Guillermo Heredia, and Will Smith is a red ass that doesn’t like any of that. Unfortunately, that just doesn’t fit on this team. So if he’s not going to be a shut down reliever, it does make it really difficult for him to fit.

  54. @ 78,

    I thought that might be part of this.

    And, the league switch theory is also good. I remember in 1992 we went and got a long time AL reliever to help us over the line (Jeff Reardon?). He had been really good and then was showing signs of age. He came to NL and was near dominant. But then against the Blue Jays he was ineffective.

    And, they really might have wanted to move Odorizzi’s money. And this let them get a wild card back, at minimum.

  55. I’m older, heavier, and have much less hair than JonathanF–and I’ll bet my golf game is a lot worse than his. But now I’m also a Stathead subscriber!

  56. Damn… Soto to the Padres with Josh Bell

    Not that we were in play but I really wanted him in the AL

  57. The Nationals got back, per Fangraphs’ FV system, a future All-Star shortstop, two future starting outfielders, and a future average starting pitcher. That’s really not a bad haul with how close Soto is to free agency.

  58. Yeah. I’d conservatively categorize that return as a buttload. I’ll leave it to wiser heads than me as to whether it’s worth it.

  59. The Nats get 4 of the Padres’ top 5 prospects and 5 of their top 10 prospects. I don’t pay much attention to other teams’ prospects, but (according to Fangraphs) this takes the Nats’ farm system from bottom 5 to top 5. Seems like a pretty good haul.

  60. I don’t totally understand why you trade so much to get a guy on the verge of free agency just so you can see if you can extend him. I’ll buy a girl a drink to have a couple minutes to talk to her; I’m not buying her a house to see if I have a shot with her.

  61. Im hoping that the trade with Houston stops the Synderguard chat .. he is owed too much and is not what he used to be .. still would love to see a Happ or Drury come our way of they havent already been snatched ..

  62. As of just now, both Happ and Drury are still available. I’d be surprised if AA isn’t in on those discussions.

  63. It’s pretty low-risk for the Padres, to the extent that the guys they parted with don’t end up as superstars. They can just as soon flip Soto in the offseason with two years of arb control remaining.

  64. Getting Drury and using Arcia as part of the return would be a pretty good deal. There’s gonna be a 40-man crunch if we get another guy and don’t trade someone from the 40-man. It’s like getting Aybar in the Simmons trade. When Ozzie returns, Drury can function just about anywhere in the field and will have similar functionality as Adrianza with a better bat. That gives us two chances – Grossman and Drury – to pull a rabbit out of the hat. Along with taking our chances on Ozzie and Yates. I think Ozzie and Yates have to be set for roster expansion in September.

    I think the Soto trade has a Texeira smell to it.

  65. Chief, why do you say that?

    In general, I view Soto’s closest comparable as Ted Williams.

  66. @95 Soto reached base 4 times yesterday. 3 were walks. That sounds like a hitter with a long career ahead of him. And a complete throwback in today’s game.

  67. @95 .. well at least we wont see him in division like we have .. we wont face him but maybe 6 games a year .. but looks like the Nats got a very good return with 2 promising Of’s …

  68. @91 .. hopefully we are still in it for Happ or Drury … both can play OF and 2B .. prefer Happ .. he has ARB year in 2023 ..and then FA in 2024 .. so would have that extra year .. even though looks like we wont add anymore .. maybe Grossman and Adrianza can fill in gaps … but still would love to see Happ here ..

  69. If I were a Nationals fan (perish the thought), I would think this trade sucks. I’m sure the prospects are good and all, but let’s just say I’d not exactly be taking the Fangraphs FV to the bank. And in the meantime, my major league team is going to suck for a long time. This teardown is and was lazy as hell. It’s easy to say that they couldn’t have kept Soto anyway. Possibly true if you look at the state of affairs yesterday, but that ignores the pointlessness of last season’s fire sale. This is a World Series winning team that didn’t have a great 60-game COVID season or first half of 2021 and so simply gave up.

    I’m planning a brief tribute to Will Smith for my next Sunday recap. I figure it’s the least I can do as the only person on here with any appreciation whatsoever (exaggerating a little…maybe) for a man who played an essential role in us winning a World Series. I will say here, though, that I haven’t seen much evidence for Rob’s repeated assertions that he seems like a jerk other than looking perturbed after walking the bases loaded and his interactions with Juan Soto, who very well may be a complete douche (see, I can impugn somebody’s name with only very passing evidence, too).

  70. @100 Hasn’t Smith had multiple red ass moments with opposing teams’ players pimping homers, or am I misremembering? I definitely could be.

  71. @100, the biggest thing that sucks is that they refused to extend Soto. (Sort of like when Cleveland refused to even make an offer to Francisco Lindor.) Once that happened, the trade was foregone. It undeniably, indisputably sucks for Nats fans, but at this point they’re all just rooting for a huge prospect haul and for new ownership to open up Fort Knox for Juan Soto in free agency.

  72. @102

    The chance that he’s coming back is infinitesimal.


    I believe it’s basically just been Soto. I could be forgetting some others, as well.

  73. Definitely did not want Joey Gallo, but my fear was that was the kinda hitter AA would like.

  74. Anybody see what LA gave up for Gallo?

    I’m thinking we may be seeing another trade of a guy for a bucket of balls.

  75. Yeah, LA definitely gave up less for Gallo than I expected, but maybe I’m just weighing this year’s performance too lightly.

  76. The Dodgers gave up their #15 prospect, a RHP.

    I’m going to the Yanks game tonight — there will be joy that Gallo’s gone.

  77. @102 Refused to extend Soto? They offered him 15 years $440M, which Soto promptly rejected. Soto did everything in his power to show – emphatically – that he is going to be a free agent. Whatever you think about the Nats, they couldn’t just sit on their hands and get less and less in return for Soto.

  78. Man, good for Eric Hosmer. I was more pro-owner than most on here during the lockout, so I’m also going to say that I love it when a player gives a middle finger to the owners. I’d have rather have played for Boston than Washington too.

  79. @109, the thing that the Nationals did when he rejected that offer was they went to the press and loudly proclaimed that they had made him that offer. It was like what the Yankees did when Aaron Judge rejected their extension offer. That was their way of publicly pulling away from the negotiating table.

    Fifteen years, $440 was an underbid for Soto — they didn’t even offer him $30 million a year. That’s fine if you’re going back and forth, but it was distinctly underwhelming if it was their final offer. He did exactly what anyone would have expected him to do.

  80. @109 Bingo. And now the Pads have to wonder if Soto didn’t even counter Washington because he didn’t want to play for a losing team, or if he wanted an extra hundred million. To your point, it’s probably the latter, so the Pads had to have made this trade expecting surplus value for the next 2 years and that’s it.

  81. I side with the Nats. Turning down $440MM to play a game is an obnoxious move. It’s clear he’s going to the highest bidder and the Nats made the right move given their knowledge of that.

  82. Padres going all in. Has this ever worked for them before? Empty out the farm while they are 12 games back and hope for a wild card run? When is Tatis back?

    Can’t say I love the moves we’ve made, but I didn’t think that last year either. It worked out.

    EDIT – Also thought it might be more for Soto AND Bell. Both were desired by other teams, so maybe they got out well on that one at least.

  83. Tatis will do some dumb shit and break a bone and they’ll be home in time to watch the Dodgers and Braves.

  84. Padres would be dangerous in a short series with their strikeout pitching. Just gotta win the division.

  85. I have a hunch that the Padres talked to Soto (and Scott Boras, of course) about their long-term prospects before pulling the trigger. I wouldn’t be surprised if a 10-year deal is announced in the next week.

  86. I find the Padres completely unoffensive, no matter how much dough they spend.

    That’s probably because the Pads have been around since 1969 & have very little to show for it. And that town, gorgeous as it is, has never won anything.

    If you ever go to Petco Park — which is a great park in a great part of town — check out their very small “Padres Hall of Fame.” Half the guys are Yankees or Dodgers.

    And going to a game there is… verrrry chill.

  87. Jurickson Profar is the starting LF for the Padres, apparently, according to MLB Network, even after acquiring Soto.

  88. Iglesias is signed for next three years at $16M. basically replaces cost of Will Smith for another couple years.
    He projects as our stud RH reliever.

  89. If the Cubs really haven’t dealt Contreras and Happ (I suppose a last minute deal could still be announced), they lost a good opportunity to get good value for them.

  90. Braves might be short handed in the bullpen tonight. Only 6 men instead of the usual 8 until Iglesias arrives. And I think they are going with a 6 man rotation for a bit with Odorizzi.

  91. The Padres will finish 84-78.

    The Padres could acquire The Avengers and they’d still finish 84-78. The world adjusts around the Padres to ensure they are 84-78.

  92. Well, I’ll be monkey’s uncle. They got one in under the deadline. We’ll get Chavez back over the winter LOL. Iglesias can replace both Smith and Jansen since Jansen’s only signed for this year. Iglesias seems great on FIP and K/W but gives up HRs kinda like Smith. And we get three more years (albeit at a high cost).

    Giving up Chavez clears a spot on the active roster while Davidson clears a spot for Yates or Ozzie on the 40-man. Putting Duvall on the 60-day IL will clear a second spot. Which leaves clear sailing for adding Yates and Ozzie on Sept 1st.

  93. Seems to me like the deadline strategy puts a lot of faith in Arcia, Rosario, and Dylan Lee.

  94. @122 – Padres always have Tony Gwynn. Could do a hell of a lot worse.

    But they are the NL version of the Angels. I’ll never forget 1993 when they had Gwynn, Sheffield and McGriff. Then the fire sale. Now they keep trying to spend big, but at what cost? Wasn’t it 2020 they traded for Clevinger and that was supposed to move the needle? He’s pitched all of 79 innings since then. Big money for Machado to pair with Tatis but still doesn’t move the needle. Angels added Pujols and then Rendon to Trout and it did not make a difference. I’d say it’s a SoCal thing but…the Dodgers.

    As for us…what did the Mets pick up again? Talk about big spenders. I’ll take our adds against theirs.

  95. This is similar to last year. We made totally unexpected under the radar trades to meet our needs and not give up the farm. Let’s hope Iglesias works out a lot better than Richard Rodriguez.

  96. The thing that concerns me about Iglesias is he has a 2 and 6 record this year and a career won/ loss record of 27 and 43…..

    Just kidding. I knew JonathanF would like that😁.

  97. This rules. Raisel Iglesias is a whale of an upgrade over Smith, and Davidson is the definition of fungible talent. Chavez has been good for us this year, but he’s Jesse Chavez: a 38-year-old journeyman RHP middle reliever. Raisel Iglesias got downballot Cy Young votes last year and has a career K/BB over 4.0. The dude is a stud.

    The Cubs failing to trade Willson Contreras is both mystifying and stupid. Boy, I’m glad I don’t root for them.

  98. All incremental improvements but all in the right direction. Look at it one-for-one:

    Iglesias for Smith
    Adrianza for Cano
    Grossman for Ford
    Odorizzi for Davidson

    Every one an improvement even if none individually moves the needle. And the pitching improvements keep an eye on next year as well as this year. If Morton and Jansen don’t come back then Odorizzi and Iglesias slide right in. And save a boatload of bucks on Morton. With the Riley signing, there is no challenge for next year except Dansby.

  99. @137 You’re right, these moves have certainly upgraded the bullpen. As good as Chavez has been, Iglesias is better, and we have him for another two years. We can always get Chavez in the offseason if we want.

    And I got caught up in the Soto trade I completely forgot that the Cubs decided to trade no-one. That makes no sense.

  100. I’m surprised the Mets didn’t trade for Contreras, considering their terrible catching situation.

    The Cubs must have been asking for a whole hell of a lot.

  101. AA on Strider: “We don’t have innings limits, we don’t do innings limits. You’re gonna pitch and we will monitor you.”

  102. @143 agreed
    Olson reminds me way too often of Adam Laroche and his lackadaisical defense.

  103. @144 great comparison. I get that it was hard hit but it was waste high to the glove side

  104. If I had to guess, it wasn’t an error because it was hit too hard. Not saying I agree necessarily, but it was smashed.

    A bigger issue in my mind: Where in the hell was Acuna on that? Arcia had to run into right field to chase it down.

  105. Hadn’t gone to lurk over at Battery Power (formerly Talking Chop) much at all this season. I choose today to do it and wind up stumbling into the thread on the Iglesias trade, in which I learned via the groupthink collective that ever paying a reliever in any currency denomination higher than $20 McDonalds gift cards is cause for firing everybody. I think some of these folks think it’s still 2016 in terms of payroll.

  106. @149 … yea .. I agree .. we didn’t get any offensive upgrades .. we did in pitching .. but I thought we’d get a better offensive trade … we still have Arcia and Ozuna weighing us down …

  107. By the way, I just looked up Statcast data on their run-scoring play and it was off the bat at 108 mph. Given that and the fact that Olson was playing in front of the bag, I think I’d be inclined to agree with the RBI double ruling. Olson simply had no time to react. Him catching the ball would’ve been mostly luck.

  108. You’re a brave man Nick. I wouldn’t dare head over there, less I lose more IQ that I can afford.

  109. this conversation about manufacturing runs against good pitchers and how many games we win while not hitting a homer is so stupid it’s upsetting

  110. Chip and BJ are talking about how hitting home runs won’t win in the postseason; you’ve got to manufacture runs instead. That’s the accepted wisdom, I realize, but is it true? Has it been studied?

    It’s anecdotal, but I seem to recall some big home runs by our Braves last October.

    And they said it can be very difficult in the postseason to string together 3 or 4 hits in an inning. Doesn’t that make home runs even more important?

    Edit—what Nathan said.

  111. @157 that being said, looking forward to Adrianza getting some of the pt against right handers instead of Arcia.

  112. I thought that was a strange conversation about needing to hit for contact to win in the playoffs…seeing as how the iconic moment of Game 6 last year was Jorge Soler hitting the ball out of the damn stadium.

    I seem to remember some stat that the Braves had as many home runs as the Astros had total runs or something.

  113. @161

    We get it, Bravey…we’re doomed.

    Some of us are old enough to remember your conspiracy theory from last night that the Riley extension was announced to cover up the fact that the Braves weren’t gonna do anything at the deadline. I believe no fewer than three deals went through after you said that, so…

  114. You know, I guess I don’t mind getting the call, but that low and away fastball is just an unfair strike. Nobody can hit that pitch hard.

  115. I too am perplexed by what must have been the Cubs asks. But they did go over 100 years between Series wins. The ivy is pretty and I love that ballpark (lived in Chicago for 3 years in the 90s) but they have never been known for smart management.

    And agree with Roger @138 – all seem to be upgrades for the team.

  116. August Eddie, indeed!

    @170: Hey man, he’s scored from first on a hit two games in a row!

  117. When I heard this was a bullpen game for the Phillies, I thought that was ambitious of them.
    Turns out, their reach exceeded their grasp today.

  118. Like I said, the deadline deals put a lot of faith on Eddie and Arcia and they are both saying “thank you” tonight.

  119. I think JonathanF will agree with me that the most important thing about this inning is that it ensures that Spencer Strider is in line for the win.

  120. It is interesting that we have 3 players that could have easily been replaced with deadline moves – Rosario, Arcia, and Ozuna. They are a combined 5 for 9 with 6 RBIs.

  121. Strider’s back out for the seventh! Chip told me to expect not because it’s a “hot night.”

    If he strikes out the side BTW, he ties the Atlanta record for strikeouts in a game…oh well.

  122. Huh, all this talk about limiting Striders innings, and he’s going out there in the seventh in a 9-1 game….

  123. Nothing magical about 100 pitches in an outing. If the kid feels good and is still loose then St Leo would tell us that throwing a bit more is a good thing. I’m with Leo

  124. Normally we struggle with bullpen games, but uh…not tonight. Sometimes with a bullpen game you befuddle the opponent’s hitters with a different look in every at-bat. And sometimes everybody you throw out there is the proverbial belly-itcher.

  125. Somehow it seemed like everything started to click once Knebel came in. They couldn’t really do too much with the first few guys. Then they put up the crookedest number in the world once he came in with his homemade meatballs.

  126. Is there a link to the AA in game interview? I haven’t been able to find it. I think this is where the Strider inning limits quote came from…

  127. @188

    It is. Hopefully either the team or Bally Sports cuts it up and puts it on Twitter or something, because otherwise, your only hope might be trying to navigate the execrable Bally Sports app to find it. If it helps, I think it was either in the second or third inning.

    2.5 back.

  128. I think Oridozzi has a player option for 3.25 mil next year which he will decline .. so him and Grossman will be 1 yr guys .. but with taking away 13 mil for Smith and 16 mil for Jansen and 9 mil for Duvall .. possibly 20 mil for Morton if he retires .. that should be enough to offset Inglasias 16 mil and Riley 17 mil and still give us maybe 27 mil to spend on LH DH guy to platoon with Ozuna ( if we don’t offload his contract) and a RH LF guy to platoon with Rosario and a starter to offset Morton

  129. Odorizzi’s player option is 12.5M after his next start with 6.5M being our buyout (we won’t). He will exercise his option.
    edit: spelling

  130. Also, I really enjoyed listening to Pete Moylan on the radio. Nice to hear an Aussie accent (sort of) on the broadcast! Hope he gets some more games

  131. @192- Where do Dansby and Max fit in your scenario?

    Dansby will not be the most sought after SS and the FA market is loaded with dudes at that position. If we want him, even given the season he’s having, I don’t think he goes for tippy-top dollar.

    As for Max, he’s earned his bag of cash, too!

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