Well, this has went as well as a catfish trying to ride a unicycle. Tonight, it’s Tony Gonsolin vs. Bryce Elder. Both are having better than expected years, but I gotta say that I’m worried that Elder just can’t match the Dodgers Lineup.
Tonight’s Braves Lineup
Sean Murphy takes a day off and the Michael Harris II returns to the lineup.
Michael Soroka Update
Yesteray, I made a prediction that Soroka would make his season debut on the road at Oakland and I’m going to stand by it. And while it’s no confirmation, Peanut doubled down on the idea that the Braves will likely give him an opportunity very soon.
I hope he’s ready.
We sure throw some ridiculously bad two strike pitches. Just a peach right down the heart of the plate. Case in point the two strike pitches to Betts and Freeman but then a rally against Smith and Martinez where he made some really quality pitches
But you know, the pitch that struck out Muncey was a fastball right down the middle. It worked because Max was obviously looking for something offspeed.
Interesting set of comments today in the thread on last night’s game recap (thanks, Alex!). There was back and forth between those who focus on the current problems with the team and those who point out how well the team has played so far—especially compared to May in the the last two years.
Who is right? ¿Por que no los dos? I agree with Roger: this is a very talented team that has played quite well overall. Still, it’s hard to argue with krussell that losing two of your top three starters for an extended time is pretty doggone worrying.
Nonetheless, while Chief is an admitted skeptic, I’m a confirmed optimist. There is no reason to worry too much about the lineup. MHII and Riley will come around. Although the rotation is a question mark, Fried may very well return healthy by July, and Soroka had his best start yet last night. The bullpen has been shaky at times, but it’s still stronger than most. And you know AA will do what it takes in July to fill any holes at that point.
One thing I know for sure: it’s short sighted and unrealistic to predict doom based on a couple of bad games. It’s a long season with many twists and turns ahead.
Agreed, 100%. When was there ever a MLB team that was great (with no injuries) for an entire season. When we’re talking about a game in which 30% success (as a hitter) is star quality, there’s gonna be a lot of downs to go with the ups. Compared to the last five years, this year’s team is UP.
Notwithstanding the loss of Fried and Wright for a while, this team is amazing to recover from the losses of Soroka, Matzek, and Ian Anderson for longer periods.
That double play that Arcia and Albies turned was just a thing of beauty. Say this about Arcia, and Elder too, for that matter: they’ve shown me far more than I ever thought possible. As Teddy Roosevelt once said, it is not the critic who counts.
I haven’t gone full “doomed!” yet, but I worry about our starting rotation for sure. The pen can be patched up, and some of the arms that are currently struggling can find a way to right the ship. Small sample size and recency bias is a bitch, and it’s easy to fall prey. I know this much, we’re more fun to watch when we’re hitting.
Ok, kids, that was hilarious. Good for Ozuna.
Even our “good” relievers stink now. After they pulled to 3-2 I figured Betts would hit a solo in the 9th to tie it anyway so they just tied it a little sooner
Predictable double play to kill the rally. Our “stars” do that an awful lot
Pardon my language, but this bullpen was supposed to be the best one in years, and it’s been ass.
Situational hitting is as bad as can be as well.
On the plus side, Elder is still working his magic.
Answering AAR’s question from this morning.
Winning percentage since 2000 by # of homers hit (Number of games)
0 33% (39893)
1 50% (38816)
2 65% (20555)
3 76% (8030)
4 84% (2617)
5 89% (755)
6 94% (202)
7 90% (48)
8 100% (20)
I think it’s fair to say that the bullpen is a dumpster fire right now.
Sigh…seeing the normally reliable Anderson give up 2 to tie the game made me think of Roseanne Roseannadanna, from SNL days of yore –
“It just goes to show you, it’s always something. If it’s not one thing it’s another.”
This team just needs a win.
Edit – yes sir! Needed that
Victory! Nobody has more fun than Ozzie and Orlando. Love those guys!
The bottom of the 9th was as textbook situational-hitting / play-the-game-the-right-way as you’ll ever see. Man we needed that.
Ozzie has caught a lot of flak from this board over the past two years, but the guy is a hell of a player.
Nick Anderson was basically an offseason flier on an injury-ruined former top reliever, same as Kirby Yates, and both are in a very similar position: they’re sixth-inning guys at best who are miscast in high-leverage roles. Unfortunately, Joe Jimenez has been pitching similarly, and Minter has been off, and Iglesias is still rediscovering his touch, and so the back end of the pen feels rather empty. That said, AA has demonstrated that bullpen construction is actually a core strength of his. I am genuinely not concerned about the pen.
The offensive swoon over the past two weeks has been frustrating – like krussell said, this team is more fun to watch when it’s hitting. We’re 5-8 over our last 13 games. And over that time, and all that frustration, our first-place lead has shrunk from 7.5 games to 5.5 games. The Marlins and Mets are tied for second.
That said, I don’t take the Mets likely at all: it’s fun to watch them struggle, but they have a lot of really good players and a really good manager. They won 100 games last year, and they absolutely have the talent to play at a .623 winning percentage later this year. So I’d love us to pad our lead as much as we can, take the division and run away and hide before they wake up, and before Trea Turner remembers how to hit and marches the Phillies back into contention.
Beating the Dodgers never gets old. They are a frighteningly good team every single year. They have hundreds of millions of dollars on the field and hundreds of millions of insanely good prospects knocking on the door; I admire the hell out of them and wish every single team spent money and tried to win the way they do.
I hope we can kick the Phillies in the teeth while they’re down. No better time than the present, and they are going to be fired up as hell to get some of their dignity back by coming after us.
Glad we were able to salvage the last game of the series. Elder continues to perform well and help stabilize the starting rotation. He allowed several guys to reach but was able to strand all of them, and had a nice 6:1 K/BB ratio. And how about Olson’s mash job of a homer? I remember he hit one against the Mets last year that ricocheted off the awning on the Chop House, but I’ve never seen one land on the ROOF before. Goodness gracious.
Now, let’s go take care of business against Philly.
The key missing piece is a #2 starter. We have an ace (Strider), third starter (Morton), 4th starter (Elder), and lots of candidates to continue to try for the 5th spot. The bullpen will smooth out and be improved at the deadline. The lineup and bench are as deep as can be, especially if Harris can get going and especially with Ozuna resembling a MLB player. But a #2 starter has to come out of Soroka, Fried, or Wright, or I would agree with Chief that there are just too many rotation injuries to make a run through the playoffs. With that said, I think one of those 3 SPs I mentioned will come back both effective and healthy, so we can make do.