Braves 5, Giants 1

I’ll never not hate west coast games. They start late, they’re against teams you’re less familiar with, and whether the stats agree or not, it seems like we constantly struggle on the west coast. Not tonight, fortunately, because the Braves got a win against a Giants team that is headed towards a busy offseason of jettisoning veterans that have played key roles for them for a long time. Must be a weird time to be a Giants fan.

Kyle Wright once again struggled with his command. He threw only 58% strikes (a mathematically-clean 58 strikes in 100 pitches), but limited his hits (3 in 5.1 IP) to get into the 6th inning giving up only one run. He was at 100 pitches with two lefties coming up, so Snitker went to AJ Minter in the 6th, a move I liked.

Dansby Swanson knocked in three of the five runs, two off of a home run to left field and the third on a run-scoring single.

To say it’s been a forgettable season for Matt Olson and Ronald Acuna would be an understatement. They both have OPS’es under .800 for the year, and Acuna probably has a good excuse. For Olson, all will be forgiven if he can get hot at the right time, and that time is quickly approaching. And really, that’s the way it always works. If Olson had a .950 OPS and went ice cold in the playoffs, that’s worse for a lot of fans than having a .750 OPS but hitting some big home runs in the playoffs. The clips you watch the most of Freddie Freeman are the big hits he had in the playoffs, especially his home run to finish off LA last year. That’s just the way it works.

We’re a half game back again. We get the Giants this afternoon, a day off, and then we head home to face two lackluster East teams: 3 games against Philly, and 3 games against Washington. And then we go play them each 3 times in their home parks, and then we get the Mets 3 games at home to end the season. 5 more series, and that’s it.

34 thoughts on “Braves 5, Giants 1”

  1. Great write-up! I’d quibble with the description of Philly as lackluster, though. The season series is tied, I believe. We have to face them four times in their home park. I think they are a dangerous match-up.

    Also, I freaking hate them.

  2. With an off-day tomorrow, hopefully we can push Odorizzi back to pitch against the Nationals next week, and use Fried, Strider and Wright against the Phillies this weekend.

    Also, the Phillies are likely a playoff team.

  3. Wright’s outing was very similar to Strider’s in Oakland. Didn’t have the best feel/command, but managed to right the ship and pitch more than half the game. He was one pitch away from walking in a run and likely getting an early hook, and instead he got the flyout and pretty much settled in and cruised from there.

    Maybe I’m just narrative-fitting here, but to me all our arms are tired and could use extra rest. Do we dare give Elder/Anderson/Soroka some spot starts? Very tough call.

  4. @4 I hope the Braves do find a way to get some productive spot starts from the quality arms currently hanging out in AAA in order to give our pitching staff a bit of a rest. Elder looks most ready for another spot start, followed by Muller and Soroka. Seems clear to me that we have a strong top 4 SP (Fried/Strider/Morton/Wright) for the playoffs, and you really don’t need a 5th starter in the playoffs. What you do need is to keep your playoff-quality starters as fresh and productive as possible while not jeopardizing your playoff seeding/position.

    Re: Ian Anderson, I don’t think there’s any reason to expect good things if we bring him back up now. Scouting Anderson’s box scores since he returned to AAA I am not seeing any indication that he’s “fixed”:
    8/19 5.1 IP 0 ER 2 H 4 BB 7 K
    8/26 5.1 IP 6 ER 10 H 1 BB 6 K
    9/1 5.2 IP 2 ER 9 H 1 BB 5 K
    9/8 5.1 IP 4 ER 4 H 4 BB 5 K

    All four starts feature inefficient pitching (never made it through the 6 inning in any start), with lots of walks (or lots of hits) in each start. I think Ian will get it figured out again but unlikely to do so in time for any stretch run baseball in Atlanta in this year.

  5. Wright was all over the place early, especially in the 2nd. With 2 outs, he got really wild, loaded up the bases & then got behind MYaz. I thought, “Uh-oh… here it is.”

    But he induced a fly out, which allowed him to begin anew in the 3rd. He was still getting behind hitters, but he battled thru — and that’s something you like to see. Good win. Let’s come home 5-3.

    And those Giants’ unis (like those Red Sox alt suits) look like something you’d see at the South Columbus Boys Club in 1978. I mean, they’re trading in something classic for an awful, faux-’70s look, no doubt just to sell some merch. Wack.

    IMO, if you really looked colorfully ridiculous in the ’70s (Astros, Padres, Indians, etc.) & you break out those retro unis for a weekend or whatever… fine. It’s your history. Own it. But why make up something that just sullies your brand? (There’s nothing quite like putting on a sports uniform before a game, then looking in the mirror and thinking, “Oh God, I look like a clown.”)

    Can MLB get a Commissioner of Taste?

  6. there haven’t been many good city connect uniforms. the only truly ones have been the nationals and the Padres. the angels are almost good, but a little bland. the giants ones have a terrible shade of orange which dooms them from the start.

  7. @16 I believe this is his worst batting line ever, I would hope that it’s not gonna be a repeat performance in the future.

    And Morton is looking like a fourth starter in the playoffs, IMO (to be skipped in case of urgency)

  8. Day game. Getaway game. Not our sweet spot. Getting past this trip with worst-case 1.5 games back is still a win though. I’d have taken that before the trip if offered.

  9. @18 I agree. He seems to lose effectiveness without warning and in a normal world wound be out 4th starter but I have no doubt he will be staring game 2 due to his experience, ala Dallas Keuchel a couple of years ago

  10. Per DOB, “Braves are 5-11 in series rubber games including an inexplicable 0-7 on the road. And they are now 21-25 in day games, compared to 67-30 at night”.

    So a daytime rubber game on the road is almost a guaranteed loss.

  11. I don’t expect us to win many games with Acuna, Swanson, Riley, Olson, and Harris going a combined 0 for 19 with 9 strikeouts.

  12. @24 the talkingchop article today is correct in saying how incredible it is that the braves are standings wise where they are when you consider that:
    Acuña is having a career worst year
    Olson is having a career worst year
    Rosario is having a career worst year
    Ozuna is having a career worst year
    Albies is having a career worst year
    Duvall sucked and got hurt
    Morton is having a career worst year* since he reinvented himself.
    Matzek has taken a step back
    Luke Jackson had tommy John
    Will Smith sucked
    Jansen is second in the league in blown saves
    Snitker is the manager *(added by me)

  13. The world-champion manager who has finished in 1st place the last 4 years & is on pace for 100 wins this year… that guy?

    Just imagine how much better we’d be if we had Miller Huggins instead…

  14. Yeah, it’s hard for me to reconcile a team doing incredibly well in the standings despite 11 separate terrible things happening, with a bad manager. I know opinions vary.

  15. @25. And you could add a big regression by Anderson to the point of demotion to the minors and not in the playoff plans. And getting nothing from others that were expected to provide some positive contribution such as Ynoa, Heredia, et al

  16. @24: .. correct.. not gonna win any games like that .. top of the order are ones responsible for us being in 2nd place .. you can tell Riley , Olsen and Acuna are head cases now .. pressing for sure .. hope they find a groove or gonna be a short stint in the playoffs

  17. No shame to lose against Rodon (as opposed to lose against Smyly). Still only 0.5 back and going home. Go Braves.

  18. 0.5 games back with 19 to play. I’ll take it after this road-trip. I certainly don’t expect the Mets to lose to the Pirates, so we’ll need to wake-up this homestand.

    Players are tired, and so are the Mets. I really hope we don’t get run-down by the Cards for the 2nd seed. That would make this playoff race moot.

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