Braves 3, Nats 2

1 game back. 1 game back. 1 game back. This is a heck of a race. As many have highlighted, Atlanta has a slight advantage in the remaining schedule. Strider, Wright, and Fried lined up to start the final series against New York turns that into a defacto playoff match-up. 162 game season is long, but this is really good.

Charlie Morton has also been really good, all things considered. On June 11th, Charlie Morton had a 5.67 ERA in 12 starts, and he looked a little toast. Actually, like a whole loaf of bread worth of toast. But since, Charlie’s had a 3.16 ERA in 17 starts. He’s pitched into the 7th in 8 of those starts as well. If we win the division, Charlie Morton will have helped. He’s got a 2.2 bWAR, so even without accounting for the leadership he provides for this young staff, I’d say he was worth bringing back. With that said, I hope it’s his last year. Let’s ride him off into the sunset with another “big ass ring”, as Snit calls them.

You gotta bring this guy back:

I think it’s pretty clear Dansby is the leader of this team at this point, and he leads the team in fWAR by a significant margin (5.8 fWAR to second-place Austin Riley’s 5.3). He also added an opposite field home run last night. Let’s figure it out, AA, Dansby, and Excel.

Travis d’Arnaud provided the other two runs on a two-run homer. d’Arnaud is 5th amongst catchers in fWAR in only 385 PAs. He’s 4th amongst Atlanta position players in fWAR. He’s been one of the best players on the team when he’s on the field, a 6.3 fWAR pace across 162 games.

Yeah, that’s about right. Kenley Jansen came in and decided everyone needed a last bit of excitement before bed. Whatever. We won. Again. After starting the season 23-27, we are 70-28, a seven-hundred-and-freaking-fourteen winning percentage.

Run it back.

57 thoughts on “Braves 3, Nats 2”

  1. Brilliant, Rob. Thank you. They gotta line Fried, Strider and Wright up for the Mets series who will have DeGrom and Scherzer ready. What a series that will be. Baseball!

  2. This is really a great race to the finish by these 2 teams. Halfway thru these games I thought we’d pickup a game on them ( we’re up 2-0 and they’re down 4-0) and a quick 3 run HR and grand slam later it wasn’t to be.

    Reminds me of last year’s Dodgers/ San Fran battle for the division.

  3. Why have the Braves started out so poorly two years in a row?
    I realize it is certainly better than ending in a similar fashion.
    But why get asks.

  4. @3 – Last year’s slow start was puzzling. This years slow start was not puzzling. This year 2 of our 5 spots in the rotation were not solidified (Morton was bad and Strider wasn’t starting yet). Our outfield was in a mass state of chaos with Acuna hurt, Ozuna playing poorly in all aspects, and Rosario out with eye surgery. When 40% of your rotation is not settled and 33% of your lineup is unstable at best, a slow start should not be mysterious to anyone.

  5. I know it was just an infield single but I am also on the team that thinks Contreras and TDA need to be in the lineup every day

  6. Starting Elder here is a great example of putting a guy in a position to succeed. Credit to him, he’s doing well in a game he was set up to do well in.

    Also, I like this team a whole bunch with Ronald feeling like Ronald.

    Ububba, I’ve definitely never been able to get into grappa, but I might have a better chance with that than the utterly ubiquitous liqueur out here in the Bay of Naples: limoncello. It tastes like a vodka Jolly Rancher. It’s 30% alcohol, tastes like candy on the way in and rotgut on the way down.

    Hell, it still tastes better than Beverly, the Italian bitter soda they used to have at the World of Coke.

  7. BS HBP right there, guy was standing on the plate while attempting to bunt. Not sure it even hit him either
    And of course, no challenge by snitker.
    And it results in a run.
    Really wish the offense weren’t so lukewarm….

  8. @7, it hit his pants leg at least; not sure about the leg inside the pants. The replays showed the crease in his pants caused by the ball.

    @8, no, he just went a little too far thinking that the ball might drop. Robles made a nice play.

  9. @9 got it…thanks!

    Olson doesn’t help the team at all defensively. How bad must AL first basemen be for him to win multiple gold gloves?

  10. This team with Freeman instead of Olson and no Jansen probably has the best record in the league….
    At least Pache and Langeliers are not making it hurt worse yet.

  11. Olson is an embarrassment. More errors than our shortstop.
    Bad start I suspect is more than players playing bad. Have some ideas but in order to maintain calm I we keep such to myself.
    Great concerts coming up. Oh man so many.

  12. Jesus F…it all started with the terrible walk from Matzek. This one will be another “bad loss” if we don’t come back

  13. Also, what is it about this offense and “bullpen games” for the opponent? The Braves rarely do well at the plate on such days.

  14. Oh look, an ex brave destroys us again, what a surprise….
    Anyway, 3 innings against a bad bullpen to score a couple of runs, no excuses.

  15. This one is angling poorly. Walks that bit us, poor baserunning, poor defense, sleepy day game offense. Not a great combination

  16. This team is giving off the 2020 NLCS “out of gas” vibes. Digging out of the hole and chasing the Mets all summer seems to have worn out some of the key cogs in this lineup.

  17. I’m getting some Uggla PTSD with Olson…

    Acquired in a trade, signed to an extension before playing a game, and all downhill from there…

    Tell me I’m overreacting.

  18. The baserunning and defensive gaffs are unreal today. Maybe the pen is short but leaving Matzek has thrown more balls than strikes was curious. He obviously isn’t the same dude as last year.

  19. @22

    Maybe, but probably not.

    That entire situation was on Wash. He completely hung Contreras out to dry. By the time he decided to throw up a stop sign on Riley, he would’ve been better off just letting him go. Contreras would’ve easily made third and Riley would’ve had some chance of scoring. Holding him up, Contreras was 100 percent out (he was more than halfway to third by that point) and you turn down the 1-in-3 or 2-in-5 or whatever it was chance of scoring the run.

  20. @20 – You are definitely overstating. Uggla batted .179 then sunk to .162 before we shipped him off.
    @18 – That is quite an overstatement also. We have won 5 games in a row. How is that “out of gas” vibes?

  21. Yeah, I look forward to the upcoming painting of a 5-1 homestand (half of which came against a playoff team) as a total disaster. The road trip was iffy. This homestand has been fine.

  22. @26 homestand was great but this could be one we let get away. It happens, but it just seems like we let a lot of our loses slip away in games we were in position to win.

    This one was Barves like

  23. I stopped commenting to not be berated for being overly negative, but I don’t like our chances if the Mets win today.
    Nimmo is hurt, btw.

  24. @29 – All of us can get negative sometimes and some of us are more optimistic than we should be. It’s the sweeping statements that get to me – like Atlanta has no chance to win the division being 1 game out, Kyle Wright has the yips as proven by 2 bad innings, Matt Olsen was the worst signing ever, … All those statements could be true, (probably not) but all are incredibly premature. The Braves have a darn good team.

    It just seems like some are hoping that Atlanta does bad so they can slam them. When they do well it is radio silence .

  25. @31, that’s nice, but it just gives me vibes of another missed opportunity….
    I think they’re gonna have to Mest it up , asap.

  26. Idiot Snitker. 1 game out. 13 to play. What a dumb stupid idiot. Playoff berth clinched already. Shoulda used Chavez- I mean Iglesias. Stupid stupid stupid.

  27. TD is the eternal. optimist. This is a great attitude but leads to some inaccurate statements. TD is most accurate in stating this is a darn good team. Imagine how good it would be with Freeman at first. What, 5 plus games better. That would be a pessimistic number.
    Carl could be deemed as a pessimist. This also leads to some inaccuracies. No one is perfect. Emotions always skew things.
    I feel Olson is an embarrassment. I feel Snitker is a average at best. Today’s game can not be avoided. Mark Bowman is correct, keep your head up as a good base runner should. Ball players do all the little things. Many don’t, they are not ballplayers, they are too often one trick ponies. Has nothing to do with being tired. If you keep your body in shape as they should, tired should not be an issue. They play 162. Remember both teams can say what if.
    So please don’t say it. Washington screwed up, don’t we all. Keeping them to a minimum is everyone’s goal. Braves need to take 3 of 4 from Philadelphia.
    No team is so helpless that they cannot beat you.
    But they are also certified geniuses. Two will have theur birthdays September 23rd.
    Ray Charles and John Coltrane. This I am sure all will agree upon.

    Cimafunk coming to The Cuban Club in Ybor City, October 14th. Lordy, lordy.
    Ybor is pronounced Ebor. Used to be a cigar production area.

  28. Win or lose, the Mets are beyond the point of Metsing things up unless they get swept in their final series against the Nats. Atlanta has a better team than they had last year, but the Mets are dramatically better than last year. Showalter has done an amazing job as manager.

    In the end, we may have a slightly better path to the World Series if we win the division, but getting the breaks and peaking at the right time in the playoffs are more important than winning the division. The next few weeks will be a lot of fun.

    I don’t think I have unrealistic expectations, it just seems stupid to say Atlanta is running out of gas after losing their first game in 6 played.

  29. Listen up to all of you negative Nancy’s that are, frankly, kinda ruining this beautiful website:

    The Braves have a .624 winning percentage. That’s a 101-win pace across 162. Since their slow start, a slow start that is done and over and irrelevant at this point, they have a .707 winning percentage, a 114-win pace.

    So this team, as largely constructed, is a 114-win team. If you have to come on here every day on Al Gore’s internet and bitch up a storm that they didn’t do everything to your liking, then consult a physician and leave us out of it. Some of us actually like this team.

    Thank you, and go Braves.

  30. Hear, hear. The base running blunder was unfortunate because we were right in it, but it remains just a game. We are already in the playoffs. I, for one, am looking forward to this last stretch of the season.

  31. I agree, Rob. It’s one thing to gripe about a game. It’s another to act like this team is the Braves of the late 80’s. Chill, people. This is a beast of a team and let’s not overreact based on a small sample that we all know is a small sample and small samples in baseball happen ALL THE TIME!

  32. I am planning on being at the 9/28 game in DC against the NATS. Last game before the Mets series. I would love to say “hi” to anyone that might be there. I’ll be with my company’s group. I would even buy a beer for any intrepid fellow.

    I would also like us to be three games ahead by then but I am not THAT much of an optimist.

  33. Right on. Judge after 162. Than again after the playoffs. I refuse to compromise, so when I see that action being repeatedly done I have difficulty accepting it.
    I never ate at a fast food joint. I had 332 upgrades on my home. To compromise is to lose. That is my opinion. Others can do as they please.
    The Braves have compromised at first base. Something that should have been avoided. Freeman is a ballplayer. Olson is not.
    By now I am sure the Dodgers are tired of hearing Freeman say how much he misses the Braves.
    So Olson, Morton (Dodgers will love that big curveball), Anderson and a player to be named later for Freddie

    One more
    Snitker, Ozuna, Rosario, Duval, Arcia, Adrianza, Heredia The Ray’s turn average into very good or better. So the more to work with the better they will love it. Plus the players are tired of Cash’s moves that have no concern for their feelings. Ask Morton and Snell among many others. For
    Cash and and Randy Arozarena

    Minimum ten game improvement.
    A A do your thing.

    How does it feel by Phosphorescent (Matthew Houck) stunning
    Crying is acceptable.

    It’s human nation to complain. Look around you are happy with status quo? I certainly hope not.

  34. Counterintuitively, it’s the negative commenters who are secretly the biggest optimists.

    They earnestly believe we can win every game and every player can play up to his full potential all the time. So whenever their lofty expectations go unmet, they have to vent, and this is where they choose to do it.

    IMO it’s annoying until you realize they’re not posting on here when things go right because their brains are probably too saturated in happy chemicals.

  35. I don’t get annoyed by comments of complaint. I get annoyed by people that only comment to complain.

  36. One way of looking at it is that the Braves are so good the only games they lose are ones they should have won.

    We’re all friends here I think, and we all want the same thing in the end. A baseball season has the unfortunate attributes of simultaneously requiring patience, while testing patience daily.

  37. Last time the Braves lost by more than 3 runs was August 6. How can anyone complain about a team that is competitive in almost every game.

    You can be sad after a loss, but acting like you know any better than the people running the team is some salty weaksauce.

    If you’re going to be spoiled or entitled, go root for the Yankees.

  38. @41, @43
    I think you nailed it there, in my case at least.
    The braves have been in a lot of games where they lost but had a chance to win if not for something unfortunate happening (bullpen meltdown, Jansen meltdown, RISP failing, Snitker punting when only down a run, etc.)

    The blowouts against the braves have been few and fat between this year IMO.

    Obviously no team is gonna win 130 games in a year, but darn if I don’t feel like we could have 10-15 more wins right now with some slight alterations.

    I still feel the offense has never gotten in a groove all year except for a handful of scattered games; it’s just frustrating to me because as good as they are, I feel they could be better. I wish they go all the way again this year, but I won’t be disappointed if they don’t; they have overcome a lot.

  39. So the people running all teams are not to be questioned? Even the owner of the Mercury and the Sun? The Washington Football Team or whatever they are called, the Knicks, those running the third world country of Florida, and the USA? If you are of that belief, I think you are incredibly naive. I deal in my business with many suppliers, trucking outfits, brokers, and witness many businesses that are poorly run. Maybe with the incredible talent the Braves possess they are underachieving.

    You could be a Marlins fan 59 one run games. About to lose number 37, which would tie a team record.
    Starting pitching as good as any. A pleasure to watch. The rest hard to watch.
    Yes number 37. MLB record 38. Reds.
    Cubs score 3 in the eight without a hit.
    Go wonder Jeter bailed. Enjoyable announcers though.
    Tucker for the Astros smoked one. 440 foot line drive. The outfielders did not move.

    Just out of curiosity, how many games do you (everyone) watch or attend? From little league to Major League.

  40. @46 If you’re sick of the 100-win-pace underachieving team, you’re welcome to put your lot in at Yankee Stadium.

    There’s an ocean of difference between insightful criticism and grating grandstanding. (or some of the dead-horse kicking that’s been going around)

  41. Braves are not perfect, definitely room for improvement, but I can confirm this: many cities are powerfully jealous of our Bravos.

    Philly celebrates a 2-0 Eagles start, and spent half the day yesterday all over talk radio absolutely slamming their Phillies while simultaneously expressing envy of the Braves by name over and over again. “Why can’t we have TWO nice things?” they said.

    Kinda funny to hear. Entertaining. Braves taking 3of4 is what they’re expecting up here. A sweep won’t surprise them.

    And they’re starting to hate Harper and his “lack of leadership”.

  42. I am always puzzled by the stupidity displayed when someone hates a player or a team. The hate is directed at someone or a group of players you never meet. You know almost nothing about the person or persons, yet you hate them. Why? In the case of the Cardinal’s, is it their strong history and knowledgeable fans? The Mets and Yankees, are you jealous of the city or do you dislike the obnoxious fans. The Phillies, why? Are you envious of their talent or the money they make
    Their is no justification for this moronic behavior.

    I again realize why it was extremely rare that I read the comments. While most are intelligently well written, enough display a degree of ignorance that spoil the reading. So I will stop reading and writing. I will stick to exchanging thoughts with the members of my two APBA leagues. All have played the real game with skill and knowledge.
    To those who I found it a pleasure, I will miss you. Others have spoiled the joy I get from a game I still enjoy, even if at it’s worse. Fan of the Atlanta Braves since 1953.
    Good bye

  43. @51 I’m in. I think we are going to open more eyes by sweeping the three game set in Atlanta and beat both Max and deGrom in the process.

  44. A sweep would give the Braves the benefit of the tie. I.e. HUGE.

    They’ve got the right guys on the mound. Just gotta hope the bats are up for it.

  45. @53 – I think about this, too, sometimes. I think the word “hate” is both used and taken hyperbolically when it comes to sports. I say I “hate” the Yankees, but I don’t know them. And they don’t know me, so they don’t care.

    Now, I certainly DO know my mother-in-law, so when I say I hate……

    Never mind.

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