Matt Olson had his best day in a Braves uniform, but Max Fried had one of his worst, and that’s pretty much all the game recap you really need. The Phillies scored six runs in the first four innings â€”Â only four of them were “earned,” to use the scare quotes Mac always used to use, but the two unearned runs came because Max Fried made a bad throw on an infield grounder.
In general, it felt like the team was sluggish for the first half of the game. The starting pitcher was obviously not himself, and the offense left the bases loaded twice in the first three innings.
Ranger Suarez recorded the same number of outs as Max Fried â€”Â 10 outs, just 3 1/3 innings pitched â€”Â and he yielded five walks, but the offense mustered no more than Travis d’Arnaud’s solo homer until the Phillies kindly went to their bullpen, which has been the team’s historic weakness over the last many years.
And while Seranthony Dominguez and Jose Alvarado did extremely good work in middle relief, it remained so yesterday. Connor Brogdon â€” do Phillies fans call him the Burninator? I certainly would.
Anyway, in the fifth, Brogdor finally brought our bats to life. After Matt Olson worked an eight-pitch walk, William Contreras partially redeemed himself for a brutal bases-loaded double play by hitting a double to move Olson to third, and Travis d’Arnaud brought them both home with a double of his own. Orlando Arcia worked another 8-pitch walk after falling behind 0-2,Â another terrific at-bat.
Up next, Michael Harris stung the ball, but center fielder Matt Vierling made a nice running catch, and then Vaughn Grissom struck out on a very good breaking ball. Two men were left on base, but the hitters showed a far better approach than they had earlier in the game.
Our bullpen was typically brilliant: five and two thirds ininngs by Chavez, Lee, McHugh, and Jackson Stephens, as they recorded seven strikeouts and allowed only one walk, four hits, and a single run. The game never felt completely out of reach, and the team’s ninth-inning rally proved it: after AcuÃ±a and Swanson singled to start the inning, Olson hit a three-run blast to raise hopes for a miracle. It wasn’t to be, but as losses go, this was frustrating rather than devastating.
The missed opportunities rankle. We still have a very good chance in this series. Nevertheless, I hope yesterday’s mistakes will light a fire under today’s squad. Don’t throw the ball away. When you load the bases with less than two outs, you cannot hit into a double play. Don’t strike out on a pitch around your eyeballs, either.
Kyle Wright, you’re up. Go get ’em, supe.
Alex and I simultaneously posted a recap, so I deleted mine because his was better. I put a few game notes in so I’m going to add them here in the comments.
Tyler Matzek Undergoes Tommy John Surgery
Matzek hasn’t been the same this year, especially in the velo department, and now we know why. Hopefully Tyler can make a full recovery and continue to be the stud he’s been since donning a Braves uniform.
Will the Weather Hold?
As of right now, there’s a lot of rain predicted to be in the area when the game is scheduled to play, but will clear out around 7 ET. Hopefully, they’ll get in, but luckily they build in off days in the playoffs for these situations.
Braves NLDS Game 2 Lineup
Let’s tie this sucker up.
OMG…this is a little inappropriate, but the hashtag #RunItBackForNutsack has started.
Ozuna instead of Contreras… hmm. Skipper knows better than I do, but I haven’t changed my “fire him into the sun” policy.
Nice to see that Luke Jackson is progressing. https://twitter.com/YaBoy77/status/1580243840203886593
Yeah, long story short, those who wanted a night game are probably going to get their wish.
Prepare for TV broadcast craziness, as this game was originally going to be on Fox, but none outside of, I suppose, the Atlanta and Philadelphia stations will want to show it in primetime instead of The Masked Singer or whatever dumb crap they have on tonight.
Hope Acuna saw his former teammate Josh Donaldson get thrown out last night after starting his home run trot on a ball that hit off the top of the right field wall. To be fair, the first base coach slapped his hand as he rounded the base, so Donaldson wasn’t the only one who thought it was a HR.
Has Acuna had any lapses like that since coming back from his injury? I can’t think of any, but it’s probably still a useful reminder.
It’s already officially delayed BTW. Well, it’s not officially delayed until the scheduled start time, but you know what I mean…they’ve declared they’re not starting on time.
Well, that screwed up my plans. Guess I’ll be watching the game on my phone tonight.
Was at the game in The Bronx last night. Anyone who saw the way the ball bounced back off the top of the wall knew that it wasn’t a HR, or at least knew it wasn’t worth starting your trot. In a game like that, dunno what the 1B coach & Donaldson were thinking.
And those are exactly the moments when replay is most useful. Years ago (before replay), in the old Yankee Stadium, we were sitting down the RF line when A-Rod hit a scorcher over the RF bleachers wall right in front of us. It hit a horizontal railing about 10 feet beyond the wall & clanked straight back onto the field. The 2B ump, whose view probably wasn’t great, said that it hit the top of the fence. A-Rod had a double, and that was that. Luckily, that would never happen now.
Acuna: He had one at Citi Field back in August, but it didn’t really cost us. It was an error of aggression, but a bad one that could’ve been embarrassing.
Behind by 3 runs IIRC, he was on 2nd with one out and he tagged up and ran to 3B on a medium-deep, line-out to RF. Marte’s throw beat him, but Acuna barely made it (the call was challenged) & I remember telling the guy next to me, “He’s a great player & I’m glad he’s on my team, but he sure plays like a dummy sometimes.”
Tentative start set for 7:30-7:45. They’ll meet at 6 and reassess if needed. Been raining here at my house for a couple hours. Light steady drizzle, nothing crazy. Enough to delay things I guess.
@7 – Thanks. Errors of aggression, even of the Duvall type, don’t bother me nearly as much. One of the great things about last year’s run was in game 2 against the Dodgers when Rosario tagged & went to second on a fly ball and then Wash sent him home when most coaches would’ve held him.
The funny thing is, Snitker first came to prominence on this blog as a third base coach with a knack for getting guys thrown out at home – hence the now archaic Glossary term “Snitker’d.” But in general, you want a healthy failure rate at home, just like you want a healthy failure rate for two-point conversions: if you never go for it, you’re leaving runs on the table.
They’ve locked in 7:30 ET barring any setbacks.
My worries were apparently unfounded on the possibility of Fox kicking the game to some other network. The game will be broadcast nationally on Fox, according to their MLB on Fox Twitter feed.
Wright is the right guy to have on the mound in a must win game. He has that knack for getting great run support.
@13 Heâ€™s a winner!
In Canada theyâ€™re pre-empting WWE NXT for the game. Good thing I donâ€™t watch WWE NXT!
Wow. Wright came out with an attitude. I love it.
Unfortunately Wheeler had an attitude too.
The Braves were in line to draft Wheeler, but SF got him one pick ahead of them. The Braves then selected Mike Minor.
This game is showcasing some serious metro Atlanta/Georgia baseball talent.
Smoltz has correctly predicted the strikeout pitch to end both the top of the 2nd and the top of the 3rd.
Wheeler is going to throw a 75 pitch no hitter at this rate
Brandon Marsh has definitely cooked meth before.
Danger here falling behind Harper.
Blue was squeezing Wright.
Until there’s an e-zone, Harper’s gonna get that call 95 percent of the time. At least it didn’t cost us.
UPDATE: And Acuna just got the same call, so at least it seems to be consistent.
Wright is doing his job. Top of the order needs to get on the board; taking the lead would look large (but they have to get on base first).
Lol on that first pitch to Riley. Blue is just guessing.
Riley didnâ€™t get that call, though. Olson had a ball off the plate called a strike.
We’re not even making Wheeler throw enough pitches to get into their bullpen.
Is Wright getting squeezed or just not locating?
Nice infield fly to Riley
Little of both in that inning.
Our lineup is less fun without Grissom.
Oooo-kay. Thanks for the help, blue.
Seems like Wright’s done when the lineup gets to Harper. That would be the fourth batter of this inning or leadoff of the seventh.
DANSBY!!! WHAT A CATCH!!!
Dans! What a catch!
Somebody get this man a run!
Unbelievable catch- wow Dans
Not really a fan of starting Ozuna over Contreras.
Great look by Fox of the appeal on Ozunaâ€™s strike 3
Gotta be the shot here.
Crowd sounds amazing.
And the Philly defense strikes again.
Finally! There’s your lead. Might not get any more, gotta make this hold.
Edit: OK OK! I like it! Keep adding on, boys.
FORMER PHILADELPHIA PHILLIE TRAVIS D’ARNAUD!
TDA is so money
Well OK then! We found some offense! Big 2 out hits! Woo!
Phillies have not exactly been Johnny-on-the-spot with having a reliever ready here. They’re just gonna let Wheeler flail, apparently.
Come on let Wright go another inning ….
I suppose having Heredia go to the outfield for defense now makes sense, but another option if we were concerned about offense would be to put Dansby out there and have Grissom play short. Or I suppose move Ozuna to LF (ulp), Rosario to RF (ulp) and DH Contreras, though that would hurt the defense big time.
Edit: Or they could just leave Acuna out there.
Acuna staying in does mean you have to hold the Heredia-for-Rosario sub at least another inning to make sure Ronald’s good to go.
I guess you would have anyway to get another AB out of Rosario.
Cool so my power just went out. Welp, go Braves!
As happens every time he gets a multi-week run of starts, I grow weary of Arcia. The Nationals are not in the playoffs, so could we give Grissom a chance?
Ozuna & MH2 both almost dingers
Alright, time for the Heredia sub, methinks.
Adrianza is the only infielder who has experience playing in the outfield.
Wow! What a catch!
Whoa – Austin, amazing. Damn.
Holy shit! That was somehow even better than Dansby’s catch!
Good morning, waking up at the right time, it seems and looks like you guys did a great job so far tonight.
That was an amazing catch Austin. But please never run into the tarp like that again.
I totally forgot that the Phillies traded for Noah Syndergaard.
Here we go
Big first out. Outside of the obvious, it also means Harper can’t tie the game.
The Kenley Kushion is in place!
Well, that’s a joke.
That’s an out. Right!?
I donâ€™t want a base runner but it would be nice to bean Bryce Harper here.
Yeah, the umpire just invented that out of thin air.
Even the umpires giving the Phillies a fourth out couldn’t stop him.
10 wins to go!
Hat tip Kyle Wright. Clutch AF.
All right, now let’s win a couple day games.
We’ll get 28 outs if need be! Let’s go!
The icing on the cake is that tfloyd has a day off to launder his shirt.
If these dudes advance, that start by Wright has to make you think about flipping him and Fried.
Don’t sell short on Fried. Went this way in the WS last year. Terrible Game 2 start and then lights out in Game 6.
Four picks later, Matzek
12 picks later, Shelby Miller
18 picks laterâ€¦..
We’re still playing it close to the vest on whether Morton or Strider will start Game 3.
@58, it would take some unusual circumstances for it to happen, but give Dansby a couple of days practice in the OF and he’d probably be better defensively than Rosario or Ozuna and better offensively (or Grissom at short would be better offensively, which may be the appropriate comparison) than Heredia or Adrianza.
This Dodgers/Padres game is entertaining. I hope they go all 5 games.
Thereâ€™s a duck/ goose on the field and theyâ€™re just rolling with it- keeping on playing haha
Freddie has to be in Hader’s head now.
Our stellar record in game 2 continues. Huge game from Kyle when we needed it most.
And the Padres win. This has been a pretty good baseball day.
Thank you to everyoneâ€™ for the support. Plan to come back stronger after this. I didnâ€™t get a vasectomy, just Tommy John. #GoBraves