Morton Against the Noob
For the second week in a row I recap a game in which Charlie Morton starts against an unknown commodity. This week it was Gavin Stone making his second career start. Wasn’t Gavin Stone the first prosecutor on Law and Order? Gavin walked into the first inning meat grinder: four runs which included a three run homer by Dodger-killer Eddie Rosario. There followed three patented hibernation innings, giving the Dodgers time to take a 6-4 lead on a 3 run homer by some guy named Freeman. He looks pretty good, if a little Canadian.
The Braves then scored a run in the bottom of the fifth which should have been two runs: Sean Murphy made a baserunning blunder which cost the Braves a sacrifice fly run off the bat of the aforementioned Dodger killer. So, 6-5 with four innings to play. Just a battle of the bullpens, right?
Our Bullpen Against Their Bullpen
Unfortunately, right. Turning a game over to the Braves bullpen these days is a little like turning over your teenage daughter to Jeffrey Epstein. (OK… that’s more than a little hyperbolic, but I’m losing a bit of patience here.) Joe Jimenez gave up a Minter-assisted run in 2/3 of an inning. A.J. Minter gave up 1 of his own in an inning and a third. Kirby Yates and Lucas Luetge (nobody asked me, but that sounds like a Superman villain to me) pitched unclean and scary but scoreless innings. Meanwhile, the Braves scratched one more across, but that was it. It didn’t help that they hit into three double plays.
With the Result…
Our starters lost 6-5, and our relievers lost 2-1. Hard to win that way. This is the 6th game this year in which the Braves scored 6 runs. They were 5-0 before today. This is the second game the Braves have given up 8. They were 1-0 before today. Get ’em tomorrow.
Stuff that Happened
Ronald Acuna Jr. stole third base after he was walked to second and didn’t stop going. It is a testament to the video coverage of games today that a camera caught it. Marcell Ozuna hit what seemed to be about his 10th catcher in the head this season with an exaggerated followthrough. This time it was Will Smith, who was rightfully pissed off. Watch for this to potentially escalate before the series ends.
Statistical Investigation of the Day
Since 2000, the Braves have faced 391 pitchers making one or more of the first 15 starts of their career. Against the Braves, those pitchers have a FIP of 4.18 and a WHIP of 1.25. Against everyone else, they have a FIP of 4.35 and a WHIP of 1.26. So while it might seem that new guys fool the Braves far more than they fool other teams, it ain’t true.