After losing to the Phillies 9-1 on Friday night, the Braves are playing an elimination game in just a few hours. So we can focus our energies on that one, the most crucial game of the year so far, I will be quick here.
But I canâ€™t type as quickly as the Phillies scored six runs in the third inning last night.Â Spencer Strider showed no effects of the oblique injury and the accompanying layoffâ€”until he did.Â Through the first two innings, he got them six up six down with three strikeouts.Â Facing the bottom of the order in the third, the wheels fell off.Â He walked light hitting Brandon March on four pitches, and then made a throwing error on a pickoff, advancing him to third.Â Light hitting rookie shortstop Bryson Stott fouled off a bunch of two strike fastballs.Â TDA decided to try to fool him with a slider, and Stott lined a double to right (I could hear the late Don Suttonâ€™s voice in my head, saying â€œdonâ€™t speed up his bat by throwing an off speed pitchâ€).Â 1-0 Phillies.Â So they issued an IBB to Schwarber.Â The first pitch to Hoskins was a fastball down the middle at 93.8 mph that wound up in the left field bleachers.Â 4-0 Phils.Â Despite the fact that he had apparently run out of gas, Strider was left in for another batter.Â But after Aragorn allowed a first pitch single to Realmuto, Dylan Lee was summoned from the pen.Â He promptly surrendered a two run homer to Harper.
So itâ€™s 6-0 Phillies and Aaron Nolan is dealing on the mound for Philly. Someone mentioned that it felt like the fifth game of the 2019 NLDS. Sure, it was bad, but it wasnâ€™t nearly as hopeless as spotting the opposing team 10 runs in the top of the first. A six run lead is not insurmountable–except most of the time, like last night. The Braves only scored one run the rest of the way, and the Phils scored three more for the final of 9-1.
But the main reason this is not like that October night in 2019 is that the series and the season are not over! Our Hammers just need to win two games in a row, which is a lot easier than overcoming a six run deficit after three innings. Today will be big game Charlie Morton vs. Thor Syndegaard and tomorrow is Fried, who will doubtless be better than he was in Game 1. Most importantly, the bats are due to wake up.
Iâ€™m not going to use this space today to look back at the remarkable 2021 season or look ahead to the bright future for this team. There will be time for that whenever this season is over. But itâ€™s not over yet. Go Braves.
Suddenly LA is in a 2-1 hole, too.
Seeing Freeman have an MVP-caliber season for LA, I’ve become really bitter over the whole situation, and to be honest, I’ve lost a lot of respect and admiration for him, given how he bungled his own free agency, followed by his weekend of crying in Atlanta this summer. So now LA has an elite first baseman for the next five years for less real dollars than he was going to get in Atlanta. Maybe I’m being mean and uncharitable. I should move on.
Anyways, go Padres.
I suspect many of us have a pretty good sense, deep down, of where this thing is headed. This postseason just has a different vibe from last year. It’s kind of crazy to think that by the end of business today, the three top regular season NL teams will probably have been bounced. Crapshoot playoffs, indeed.
But that glorious sweep against the Mets . . . This season will be remembered for that by both ATL and NY fans. No one can ever take that from us.
Have a nice offseason, everyone.
There is no reason we cannot win this game today. Of course, there are very few games in which there is a reason we cannot win. Thus: let’s win. (Knute Rockne I’m not.)
To quote Bluto Blutarsky: “Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!… Not me! I’m not gonna take this.” Hoskins… Dead man! Harper… Dead! Alvarado… Dead! Who’s with me?
The Braves are a self admitted home run or strike out team. In this series they’ve just missed the home run part.
I can respect it if you’ve taken “The playoffs are a crapshoot” to heart, like, even despite our championship, you just can’t bring yourself to put much weight on what is essentially a fun bonus tournament for the good teams at the end of what is the actual, legit proving grounds, the regular season. (Despite its scheduling flaws.)
But I emphatically do NOT respect it if that’s not your position in your heart of hearts and you’re already conceding defeat. You gotta show up.
(I’ve been surprised to learn about myself that I’m now more the former position. Absent something stupidly miraculous occurring, it’s difficult to care about the playoffs as much as the regular season. What we did to the Mets just has so much more to it. But I think a lot about my baseball bucket list too, and while we can no longer eliminate the Cardinals from the playoffs ourselves, we could still eliminate the Yankees…therefore, GO BRAVES.)
Oh, our friend @2 is perfectly consistent. If a worst case scenario can be imagined, he can imagine it.
I’m with Bluto.
Let’s stomp their guts out today.
We were up 2-1 in the 2019 NLDS and lost.
We were up 3-1 in the 2020 NLCS and lost.
No reason we can’t get off the deck here. Just make pitch.
This is far from over. We simply have the better team. Anything is possible if we can get it back home tomorrow.
Adversity is built into this team. Don’t give up.
Apparently the Phils’ plan is Thor once through the order and to get as much as they can from their late-inning relievers. Wheeler is a possibility to pitch today in relief or to start game 5.
We just gotta get this thing back to Atlanta. Let’s go boys!
Charlie F’ing Morton!
He’s throwing hard and getting great movement. Now come on, bats!
Way to work, Charlie…
Where have our bats gone?
I like the old MH2 better than this Heywardesque version
Son of a gun… Charlie can’t catch a break.
Heat up the bats, fellas…
The breaks are beating the boys. Let’s win just one for the Zipper.
There’s one… nice answer, Arcia
Bad starting pitching, bats on vacation. Bad recipe.
John Smoltz: “Syndergaard doesn’t hold runners on very well.”
You’d need a baserunner for that note to matter, Smoltzie.
EDIT – And “Thor” at just over 10 pitches an inning through 3. Way to be patient, boys.
Is there a universe where these contract extensions actually backfire?
Um, where was Ronald Acuna, Jr., on that inside-the-park HR?
Well, there’s your Acuna brain fart…
Ain’t our year, folks. Inside the park HR to their catcher? The breaks just ain’t going our way and all of them going theirs. What time do the Dawgs start? 3:30? Thank God!
You said it ububba. For all his talents Acuna just takes a lazy approach too often. You can’t write it off to youthful ignorance or still learning to be a real professional. Totally inexcusable at this point. If he’s doing what he’s supposed to be that’s held to a triple at worst.
Michael Harris has been brutal. Still time for redemption.
It didn’t help that Harris was shading toward right.
That’s a triple & he might score anyway… but a major-league outfielder (in a playoff game) has got to back up that play.
Hopefully, he gets a big hit today, but that was… yup, simply inexcusable.
EDIT: Ka-boom, Olson.
Well .. looks like we spent money well .. Riley hitting. 210 since Aug 1 …when he signed for the money, Harris is not hitting since he signed , Strider made it a couple innings after signing his money .., Morton 20 mil for a 2 inning big game pitcher .. well .. maybe they learn to wait till seasons are over before going overboard .. Riley has done nothing .. maybe Swanson wants to wait till off-season .. we have really blown it .. nothing from anybody other than Acuna, D Arnaud and Olsen .. Ozuna terrible .. and we got him 2 more years .. always hard to repeat but braves giving money away like candy at the worst times ..
Thor at 35 pitches and the Phillies pull him after 3. Never underestimate their ability to f*** things up on their own. Back in this???
At bats like that from TDA and Riley aren’t going to help.
Call me crazy, but I think we can score at least 3 runs before we make 15 more outs.
We’ve apparently forgotten how to play outfield. This is hard to watch.
I love your optimism, ububba, but that won’t matter too much if we keep allowing them traffic on the base paths.
I think Bravey is getting to me, you guys.
Not that there is a proven link with signing extensions, but man has every one of those underwhelmed this series in particular.
Oh well, I’m satisfied after last year I guess, but I won’t get my hopes up for seeing another WS win in my lifetime, especially with expanded crapshoot playoffs.
I can accept losing a series. But the 101-win defending champs are playing like shit.
I’ve been watching baseball a long time. Things can definitely turn around.
Doesn’t help when the home plate umpire is calling that a strike.
That was a ball!!!
And indeed, @41, so have I. Tough to turn things around with our approach at the plate. The best at bat was Swanson’s just now and he got robbed. (Not counting HR and outside of those, we’ve had all of 1 baserunner.)
@33 Hard to argue.
That ball never touched him or anything but the glove!
And now we’re going to need those 3 runs just to tie it up.
EDIT – or to get closer. Jesus, the breaks they are getting. Ugh!
Sometimes it just ain’t your day…
It’s not happening this time.
Can’t watch this any more. Y’all have a good off-season.
It’s over. Heck of a season.
Win it all after being below .500 for 4 months, go out in 4 games after playing blistering baseball for 4 months. As ever, baseball-postseason outcomes are random. Kind of like ball-strike calls for too many umpires.
Just like 93, the Braves look tired after a grueling division race and are getting beat by a Phillies team with nothing to lose.
A shame, but that’s playoff baseball. When your two best pitchers aren’t healthy in October you probably aren’t going to win much.
It’s clear to me we still need more starting pitching depth or a healthy Soroka. A high OBP left fielder is also a must.
Almost everything went right last year, almost everything went wrong this year (in the playoffs). I wish the knowledge that the playoffs are a crapshoot made it easier for me to take the losses. Guess we’ll always have that series against the Mets.
I tell ya – – if there’s one thing the Phillies have done this series – – is make just enough contact to either keep an AB going, or put the ball in play (somehow, some way). While the Braves’ glaring inability to make any contact at times has been excruciatingly painful.
7-2 feels like 19-2 right now.
If you didn’t accept the crap shoot nature of post-season baseball before this, I assume you now realize it. Did you see the exit velocities of those last three hits? Sometimes you roll snake eyes.
Hot takes from Braves Twitter: you’re criticizing Acuña because you’re racist.
These 3 losses will have been some of the most lopsided ones in the last 3+months, for once I’m glad I wasn’t able to see them due to Manfreds Mlb.tv crap.
So…..what needs fixing for next year?
Could someone explain why day games have been an issue this year? It’s inexplicable to me. Just not the same team.
From the Good Parenting Dept: Switched over to Bama-Vawls and my 7 year old said, “Ugh, I’d cheer for the Mets before Tennessee. Although Mets are 2nd-worst.”
I applaud your 7 year old, Big D.
@56 – I’d say very little needs fixing, despite this outcome. Some might say stop paying out big contracts, but I am not one of them (see Olson coming on at the right time.) LF is a bit of a hole so fill it with a good glove bat. And figure out how to stay healthy. That was our undoing. Bad health/fatigue at the wrong time and cold bats. It’s easier to take this time because of last year, but it is a shame after watching this team for the last few months showing up as one of the top teams in the sport and then find this result.
Down with the ship…
Tough ending, but a really terrific regular season — yes, similar to 1993, unfortunately.
Thanks to all for their contributions.
@59 Agreed on Olson, happy to see him come alive and now I have higher hopes for him next year. Same with Acuña and his bum knee.
Offense was lethargic most of the year; if not for Harris coming up and Grissom getting hot for a while, we don’t sniff the playoffs, probably.
What to do with SS ….
Oh and yes, thanks to all the contributors!
Best wishes to all posters here as well.
Time for the ceremonial deletion of the MLB app.
It was weird having it for the offseason last year.
15 strikeouts .. our guys got wore out chasing Mets ..Snitker has to do a better job giving guys nights off , Swanson looked wore out , Riley has been wore out since Aug 1 contract signing .. Harris although young .. it caught up to him also … looked like Phillies wanted it more and deserve definately to move on .. Im thinking Dodgers or Padres are better but guess they will find out .. Phillies hit the ball Braves were pitiful … very dissapointed in Riley especially ..gave us nothing for 2 months .. and to think we spent money 20 mil on Morton and all these long term contracts ..there are plenty players in free agancy that would want to play in Atl ..what if a couple these guys fall on thier face .. then we are stuck with contracts liks Ozuna …
It was fun catching Mets though .. even though it hurt us in the end .. but to see the Mets choke was priceless .. and at least they excited earlier than us … dont care who wins now I guess .. dont GAS .. its football season anyway …
@59 is where I’m at. Hell of a year.
Yes, it was a hell of a season. It was a joy beating the Mets. I’m excited for next year.
Yup, hell of a ride.