…and now I remember why I hate the Cardinals

Well, the last two games of this series sucked. It had been a while since we witnessed a series that was essentially blown by the bullpen, but of course it would happen against the Cardinals. Your mileage may vary but for me, with nothing particularly unpleasant happening between us and the Cardinals in the past couple years and the huge divider of the pandemic separating us from the previous decade, I had forgotten about, you know…the searing hatred. Well, if you’re like me, this weekend gave you enough of a taste to wake you back up in that regard. Tyler O’Neill (or Charles Atlas, as ububba amusingly referred to him in the game thread) hitting the game-winning homer after A.J. Minter had just blown through their two best hitters is pretty much vintage Annoying Cardinals.

The pitching matchup did not favor us coming into this contest, making Saturday night’s blown save bode even more ill. However, Jake Odorizzi more than held his own against Adam Wainwright (by the way, on the ESPN Adam Wainwright content blitz last night I give a big thumbs up to them micing him up for his pregame warmup in the bullpen and a big thumbs down to them subjecting us to his country music recording) for five innings. Jake even had a no-hitter going through 5 2/3. Not only did the no-hitter end at that point, though, he didn’t record another out. He lost the no-hitter and the shutout on an irritating home run by the delightfully named Lars Nootbaar that just barely cleared a corner of the outfield wall that no one knew existed (to be fair, the home run was cheap but the hit wasn’t…it would’ve been a double even without the crazy wall angle). This seemed to totally unravel Jake, and the next three St. Louis hitters all singled, driving in another run to make it 2-0.

That seemed to bode very ill given the Braves had gotten nothing against Wainwright (there were a variety of hard-hit balls right at people, I should probably point out), but the veteran righty tired in the seventh. Eddie Rosario and Michael Harris singled to put the potential tying runs on base for the Braves and, after a couple of force outs, the Cardinals brought Ryan Helsley into the game to face Dansby Swanson with two outs. Dansby promptly teed off on a fastball for a three-run bomb, giving the Braves a 3-2 lead.

Dylan Lee had gotten out of Odorizzi’s mess in the sixth and faced the first two guys in the seventh, walking Paul De Jong with one out. The Braves brought Collin McHugh into the game to get out of the inning in four pitches, but did not bring him back for the eighth. Instead, they went with Minter, who was pitching his third game in a row. Look, I think relievers should be able to go three days in a row without imploding, particularly if all three games are late and close and the reliever is one of your best arms. The annoying thing is that all three games this series were not close. Minter pitched on Friday night in a blowout because he had already been warming or something…I don’t know. This is the type of thing that drives us folks who are not enamored with Brian Snitker’s bullpen management (particularly in the regular season) a little bit nuts. Anyway, Minter gave up a first-pitch home run to Tommy Edman and got into a huge mess…which he almost got out of with the game still tied. But he didn’t.

So we now stay three games behind the Mets and well ahead of the pack for the top wild card spot. This week, it’s three at home against Colorado and three against Miami before striking out on our final West Coast trip of the season.

53 thoughts on “…and now I remember why I hate the Cardinals”

  1. Of course this series happens against the Cards. I’m surrounded by Cards fans here in the Midwest who think they just won the WS over the weekend.

  2. @4 – Only Snitker can say for sure, but venturing a guess, I would say that it’s due to his constant daily communication with his pitchers, knowing as individuals who needs rest, knowing who is good to go, knowing how often they need to pitch to stay sharp, knowing how they feel about pitching multiple innings, knowing how effective they are when pitching multiple innings, and knowing how many days they’ll be unavailable after pitching multiple innings.

    Basically, all of the things I don’t know when I’m managing the Braves bullpen.

  3. If Jesse Chavez comes back and pitch as well, I wouldn’t begrudge other teams from accusing Atlanta of having some sort of a conspiracy with Jesse Chavez.

    So, Ozuna is on the roster and has played once in the last 2 weeks. What the heck are they gonna do here?

  4. @6 … McHugh threw 4 pitches last night .. hardly worth warning up .. should have let him go back for 8th …

  5. @7 … I’d say Albies gets back then maybe they release him .. but AA may try to wait till season end and try to offload his contract for another bad one …hoping chance of scenery ignites whoever we would get .. or likely that they just eat the 40 mil .. ouch… he has no value at plate, field, on bases ..

  6. I’m sure I’m wrong, but I’ve wondered if there is a legal reason that they haven’t released Ozuna. I have not heard anything about a morals clause, so I’m assuming Ozuna didn’t have one. If he does, they could be waiting until he is convicted to release him and rid themselves of his contract. It just seemed odd that Atlanta didn’t even suspend him for the DUI.

    I think it’s more likely that they couldn’t legally prove anything since he refused to take the breathalyzer and the police could have done a blood test, but nobody was available to do it.

  7. Yeah… the only guess I can hazard is that the “legal process” is still being worked through, and all the club has stated publicly is that they’re waiting until the end of that before they say or do anything. Maybe he’s appealing, maybe he wants his day in court.

    The thing is, this isn’t a Roethlisberger situation where the team wants all the furor to die down so they can just go ahead and keep their toxic teammate on the field where he continues to produce. He’s literally not worth the roster spot, as evidenced by the fact that he’s been a healthy DNP – Coach’s Decision for the past weeks.

    Think we’ll resign Chavez?

  8. Anyone who has watched the full video of Ozuna’s arrest would probably agree that nothing is going to happen there, it’ll get dropped. It was terrible optics, but I wouldn’t hold out any hope that it’ll somehow lead to us getting out from under his contract. We’re eating that shitburger, unfortunately.

  9. It is hard to imagine not re-signing Chavez unless someone gets to him first. I can’t believe that any other team would want him given his recent track record with all teams except for Atlanta.

  10. @ 10,

    I think the roster expansion is making it easier to hold on to Ozuna.

    On the potential contract issue, they MIGHT be able to suspend for a small amount of time (5 games or 10 games), but probably only with a conviction. 10 games saves almost a million.

    I think now and after the 1st, the roster spot is worth more than that. I think Robe Copenhaver hit it that the odds of a rebound by Ozuna are slim.

  11. I would usually say that the last 2 roster spots would be an audition for the playoff roster. However, that pattern was not followed last year. Who was the guy added to the roster last year for speed alone that never played a game in Atlanta? I don’t think he played during the playoffs either.

  12. @16, but the team did bring up two pitchers, I think Strider and Lee, for last-weekend auditions and wound up including Lee on the postseason roster.

  13. With RAJ clearly still recovering and Rosario, Harris, Grossman, and Contreras all needing ABs, I say they give RAJ as much time as he possibly needs. Really wish they didn’t rush him back. He’s clearly not right.

  14. @22 – Who is in charge of doing the new player write up on Chavez? Maybe they could dust off the last 3 or 4.

  15. @19 – Strider and Lee did pitch at the end of last year, but neither did particularly well. Strider pitched 2.1 innings and allowed a run along with 2 hits and a walk. Lee pitched 2 innings and allowed 3 hits and 2 runs. I was at the Saturday game after we clinched the division and I believe both pitched. If Lee was auditioning, he didn’t exactly ace the interview.

  16. Jim Powell from the top rope, lol! Listening on the radio on my way home tonight, Joe described how the Mets got their first run tonight on a bunt and an error. They discussed how the Mets have had a lot of that this year, scoring runs on plays where the ball never even leaves the infield. Jim theorized that a Mets fan would counter that the Braves had a lot of good breaks last year, but his reply to that would be “Yes, but we’re good people. Good things happen to good people. You’re the Mets.”

    Love it.

  17. @21, I hate that I have to agree.

    I think that might be the only really bad play I’ve ever seen Michael Harris make. I’m confident he won’t make that exact mistake again. He is a quick learner.

  18. @33 I’m here and it’s one decibel above a golf tourney. Fried is getting hit hard and our lineup misses Acuna.

  19. Max just doesn’t have it tonight. Got a feeling the Mutts will have a four game lead at the end of the night. It’s been a long day, so I’ll have to read about it tomorrow.

  20. @34- Agreed. You’ve got to find out the plays you can’t make before you learn your limits.

  21. Can’t get that runner in from 3rd … have a chance to gain a game and we playing to our competition .. come on somebody find a hole .

  22. Oh no .. going to bed Yates is pitching

    They will get a couple here and we will get 2 in 9th and loose 5-4

  23. Even with the day off, the team still looks a bit flatfooted.

    I still fundamentally don’t get why Dylan Lee is in this game, with only a one-run deficit, immediately after an off day.

  24. Any reason Snitker would throw a lefty out there …when Rockies have a bunch of RH hitters up in top of 9th .. never understood his late inning pitching choices …

  25. We had a chance to be tied with Mets these last 3 games .. can’t close 2 of them out. And can’t score a couple more runs against a lesser opponent… instead we are still 3 out .

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