Really Good Braves 11, Devil Magic 4

I’m late getting the recap up, so I’ll be brief. As Snit might say, our team is really good. Friday’s 11-4 victory over the Cardinals was the 15th win in the last 17 games. And they are playing really well right now. Spencer Strider turned in another really good performance, going six innings, surrendering one run on six its, with seven K’s and one walk.

You know who else is really good? William Contreras, who led the offensive attack with four hits, including the biggest blow of the game, a bases clearing double in the sixth that broke open a tight 2-1 game. We constantly talk about how Strider, Harris (who had two doubles) and Grissom have all turned in totally unexpected performances for the season, but it may be that Billy C is as big a surprise as anyone. After all, he did not make the big league roster out of spring training, and he was supposed to spend the year at AAA refining his game. Turns out his game is really good. His OPS of .879 is second on the team to Riley (not counting Grissom).

Scoring a lot of runs is not unusual for the Braves. They are third in MLB in runs scored. But it was odd for this team to score 11 runs without a home run. Those 11 runs came on 16 hits, four doubles and 12 singles. The lineup is really good, top to bottom. Everyone had a hit but Riley–and he had three walks and improved his OBP.

This win was especially impressive because the Redbirds are really good; they had won 10 of their previous 12 coming in.

It turns out that the Mets are really good also–they are not the Mets of the last decade or two, the team that you could count on folding down the stretch. As a result, we’ve got a really good pennant race on our hands. The Mutts staged yet another comeback , ninth inning win on Friday, so the deficit remains two games.

Our bullpen is really good. When Strider completed his six innings, Snit did what Snit does; with a lead, he will use the best relievers. The plan was to use Minter, Iglesias, Jansen for the 7th, 8th, and 9th, who were all rested and ready. Iglesias pitched a scoreless 7th to preserve a 5-1 lead. Give Snit credit–he used Churches in the 7th against right handed hitters, saving Minter to face predominately lefties in the 8th. Minter also shut them down in the 8th. But by that time, the lead was 8-1. Some might question (indeed, some did!) using him in a blowout. But as someone said in an earlier discussion of this issue, Snit believes in pressing hard when you’ve got the other team down. If Minter had already gotten loose before the runs scored in the 8th, I can see going ahead and trotting him out there. When the Braves scored 3 more in the 9th to make it 11-1, we discovered that Snit’s “stomp them when they are down” plan has some limits. Apparently a ten run lead is sufficiently safe to entrust to your lesser bullpen lights. He didn’t summon Jansen for an Atlanta Save (see the glossary), instead turning to Pepper Sprout to finish this one. Turns out it was not a good night for Stephens; he surrendered four hits and three runs, before being struck in the forehead with a line drive (very scary sight). Matzek had to come in to get the last two outs to close out the win. It appears that Jackson was OK, but he was taken to the hospital to be checked out.

I’m not here to criticize our manager. In fact, I think he is really, really good. As is our team. It’s a great time to be a Braves fan, and we’ve got a terrific September ahead of us.

I’ve got to say it feels really good to beat the Cardinals. I have bitter memories of October 1982 and October 2019. I was there for the infield fly wild card game, and no, I’m not over it. Let’s stomp them while we’ve got them down. Morton goes on Saturday night.. Charlie has been really good lately; let’s make it 16 of 18.

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.

51 thoughts on “Really Good Braves 11, Devil Magic 4”

  1. Really good recap Tfloyd. I’ll be happy if we can take 2 out of 3 from the Cards. Tonight is key because my confidence level on Sunday with Odorizzi vs Wainwright is low.

    I agree about Contreras being a big surprise, but I think the progress that Kyle Wright has made this year has been somewhat forgotten. I know he had a huge performance in the World Series, but he is not far past rookie status. Before the WS, most of his starts were uninspiring.

  2. Your use of adverbs was really good. Most writers don’t use nearly enough really good adverbs. And your variation in those adverbs was outstandingly, lip-smackingly, bigly good.

  3. Beautiful recap, tfloyd. Yes, just imagine the performance of the Wright & The Rookies (good band name?) to almost forget about Contreras’ season. They really knew what they were doing when they traded Langeliers.
    No confidence in Odorizzi either. 2 out of 3 sounds good to me. Go Braves!

    Just noticed that Montgomery has given up 1 run in 25+ innings since coming over from NY. Love it. He is due.

  4. Riley still struggling since signing for the moola .. seems to be swinging at alot of sliders out of zone … day off may help him when we get Albies back .. maybe Grissom slide there for a game … Riley still hitting at or below .200 since Aug 1 .. he will pull out of it . Just hope not too long …

  5. Well said JonathanF. The writing on this site is so good. Beautifully done tfloyd. Let’s just keep it going and resist the urge to have EdK do recaps. The four rookies of note plus Contreras now have 10.5 WAR of the teams 38.9. that’s 27%

  6. When I first started reading the comments to this really good recap, I was worried that Bravey would miss (or pass up) an opportunity to bash the horrible, no-good, post-extension Riley.

    Relief came quickly.

    Seriously, though . . . never mind that Austin, who certainly knows he’s slumping right now, responded with patience and selectivity, and worked three walks as a result. And scored a run to boot.

    Bravey’s just trolling at this point, right? Right?

  7. @1–that’s a great point about Wright. I think it’s fair to say no one expected him to be as good as he’s been. Wright (3.6), Harris (3.5), Strider (3.1), and Contreras (2.3) have combined for 12.5 bWAR. Who saw that coming? And Grissom in only 16 games already has 1.0.

    It’s a good thing, since Riley sucks now.

  8. Not sure how y’all came up with the nickname ‘Pepper Sprout’ for Jackson Stephens. I will share that I have been workshopping ‘All-County’ as a nickname, referencing the fact that there are both Jackson and Stephens counties in Georgia (among the 159 in total).

    Anyhoo, good win for the home team last night. I would looooove to see Acuna get his HR stroke back, he’s only hit 2 HRs in his last 30 games. Still, the 2022 version of Ronnie works quite well at the top of the lineup so it’s not a problem so much as… an opportunity for even more.

  9. Pepper Sprout is from the Johnny Cash/June Carter song “Jackson” with the opening line: “We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout.”

    But I like All County. You could call him Jefferson Toccoa, for the county seats of Jackson and Stephens counties. I have relatives in both places.

  10. Look, I hear the reasonable calls for a really good two out of three in this series.
    But these are the Cardinals. As someone posted in regards to Snit and bullpen usage, stomp the neck. I am greedy; I want a sweep.

  11. I’m with Nathan. Boot on the neck and grind into dust the Cardinals and the “World’s Greatest Baseball Fans”

  12. Braves 1st round draft pick of 2022, Owen Murphy, made his Low-A debut last night. He’s only 18.

  13. @8 I don’t think we’ll see more power this season from Ronald. His knee is CLEARLY bothering him.

  14. Timo – yeah, I think you’re right that the knee injury/recovery is affecting Ronald’s ability to hit for power.

    It’s just weird that his slugging is down but his base stealing / running is largely unaffected – you’d figure if the knee was going to be a problem in any facet of the game it’d be there. Power hitting is one of the last things I’d think of to be the victim of the lingering aftereffects of a knee injury.

  15. @8, @9 – Unfortunately, his middle name is Tanner, and there doesn’t seem to be a Tanner County anywhere in the U.S. There’s an unincorporated town of Tanner near Decatur, Alabama, but that’s the closest I could find.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there is or has been an MLB player with three names that match the names of counties somewhere in the U.S. 1974-85 RHP Dale Albert Murray and 2009-21 RHP Wade Allen Davis are close, but Albert County is in New Brunswick, Canada, and the only Wade County was in the Choctaw Nation part of Oklahoma before Oklahoma became a state. If we want to restrict it to Braves, Dale Bryan Murphy is close, but there’s no Murphy County, only some towns.

  16. Edit – Former Brave OF Lane Adams (who is still only 32 and was in the Mexican League last year) works. Lane (OR, KS) Weston (WY) Adams (CO).

  17. It’s pretty nuts that across 2 seasons and 154 PAs with the Braves, Adams had a .818 OPS, played good defense, was perfect in 11 steal attempts, and couldn’t find a job elsewhere.

  18. Ian Anderson with a rough game at Gwinnett yesterday: 5.1 IP 10H, 7ER, 6SO – Ouch.
    In the game, a guy called Bannon had 8 RBI for the Stripers.

  19. Ouch. Good luck, Ian.

    This offense strikes me as being like a coiled snake. It was so palpable in the Pirates series, when Mitch Keller was mostly effective through four but he was just gritting through every at-bat, and eventually the offense exploded.

    Same thing last night – a thin 2-1 lead through five innings (an official game!) but then… the floodgates opened. It’s just such a balanced lineup. So fun to watch.

  20. @8 So what you’re saying is that Ronald Acuña has only hit 2 HR since Austin Riley signed his massive contract extension?

    Facts are facts.

  21. I don’t think we should count on Anderson for this year or next. He needs a fourth pitch. Frankly, I’m glad to see him struggle. It’s good for him.

  22. @15 I’m not so sure about the base stealing part. He’s been caught an awful lot recently.

    @20 Bannon used to be a legitimate prospect but hasn’t turned it into performance at the highest levels. He may be one of the better waiver-wire guys at Gwinnett.

    I’m not sure what our next set of developing prospects is going to do since there are really only two positions that are not fixed for a long time (assuming Dansby signs then only LF and DH are not filled long term). Even the SP and RP are pretty stocked, although relievers will always turn over and are our oldest group.

  23. Because everyone wanted to know: there are 24 players in MLB history whose first and last names are Georgia Counties:

    Bryan Mitchell
    Bryan Stephens
    Clay Carroll (the original all county!)
    Floyd Baker
    Franklin Mitchell
    Gordon Jones
    Henry Baldwin
    Henry Clarke
    Henry Jackson
    Henry Jones (2 of them)
    Jackson Stephens
    Lamar Johnson
    Lee Hancock
    Lee Richmond
    Lee Thomas (another 1966 Brave)
    Monroe Mitchell
    Pierce Johnson
    Taylor Clarke
    Taylor Jones
    Thomas Long
    Warren Miller
    Warren White
    Wayne Franklin

  24. @26 I think there are more – perhaps many more! For instance, there’s a Bryan Baker who plays for the Orioles.

  25. @26, @29 – Henry Clay Baldwin and Henry Monroe Jones hit the trifecta. None of the others did, except maybe a couple of others for whom BRef only listed initials.

  26. Greetings from Miami…

    Finishing up a b-day vacation week tomorrow with a Dodgers/Marlins game & seats very close to the visitors’ on-deck circle (only $50). Hello, Freddie…

    I didn’t figure there’d be a Muscogee in there.

  27. When I was a kid I memorized all the counties of Georgia, along with the county seat of each. By now I’ve forgotten at least half; there’s only so much room in the brain. I suspect all the baseball trivia I still remember has squeezed it out.

  28. Games on Fox are just trash, especially when they spend the whole time kissing the ass of the Cards

  29. @26: I should have been more clear. My player list only goes to 2021, since it is only updated in the offseason. Bryan Baker will be in next year’s edtion.

    @30: Bravo.

  30. Interesting that Jay Jackson got the call to replace Jackson Stephens. And yes, you guessed it, there is a Jay County in Indiana but not in Georgia. However, there is a Jay, Georgia in Lumpkin County. Almost as interesting as that is why were Darren O’Day and and Freddy Tarnok passed over? O’Day hasn’t pitched since August 10 and walked 2 in 1 inning. His days with Atlanta could be over. Maybe they’re waiting for September 1 for Tarnok. I think we’ll see at least 1 of Tarnok, Muller, Anderson, or Elder on the playoff roster.

  31. Jansen can’t locate and both balls put in play were hit hard. This can’t end well. Hoping I’m wrong.

    Edit – not wrong. That was painful.

  32. Ouch … Jansen was absolutely not anywhere close to being any good .. my friend is LA fan .. he has seen these nights with Jansen alot .

  33. Tough loss, but we can’t win them all. I know he’s had a decent year, but I will be glad to see Jansen gone. I have never liked pitchers with gimmick windups and his is the biggest gimmick of them all. If anything throws him off, he seems to lose his control extremely quickly. It’s surprising to me that Jansen’s WHIP is just 1.09. Even when he’s on, he seems to have at least 1 or 2 runners on every outing.

  34. It’s not about whether Iglesias closes. It’s about whether Iglesias faces the toughest hitters, no matter inning they appear in, even if it’s the ninth. Important distinction.

  35. Soroka pitched 42 innings in Gwinett with 4 hits, 4 runs, 3 walks and 3 Ks. Not exactly what everyone was looking for, but hopefully there were some positives.

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