Braves 5, Cardinals 2

ESPN Box Score

So, sad face for me, because two innings into this game, MLB.TV decided it hated me and wasn’t going to work. This means you’ll get two innings of normal recap and then 7 innings of based-on-ESPN-play-by-play recap. Apologies. :-/

Pre-MLB.TV breaking: Mike Minor looked pretty good, allowing nothing but some hits over two innings. He was getting ahead of guys. Very nice, Mikey! Meanwhile, the Braves had jumped out to a quick 3-run lead on the back of some nice hitting by Jordan Schafer. Success! had a double and a triple in his first two ABs, scoring a run and driving in on more. If his double down the LF line hadn’t jumped into the stands, it would’ve been a 2RBI day. But hey, a 2-run rally in the 2nd is a 2wo-run rally in the second! Even Elliott Johnson did something positive, driving in Schafer in the first inning. I’ll be honest. I wasn’t optimistic that a lineup headed by Success! and EJ* would produce, but there we were, with two runs on the board after two innings.

And then I’ve got nothin. Sorry. Sometimes MLB TV just hates me, and all I get is a gray screen with those stupid circles rotating endlessly. It’ll probably work again tomorrow or in two hours or something, but whatever. Here we go, recapping off the ESPN play-by-play:

Looks like…. Hibernation mode. Wow. I know what it’s like to watch, but when you see a pitcher facing 3 batters only for 4 straight innings it just looks sad. I mean, there were baserunners, but double plays and caught stealings (Gerald Laird? I assume this was some sort of botched hit-and-run? But Joey Tredoslavich Joey Terds isn’t really a contact guy so why would you call for that Fredi?) mean only 3 actual batters faced in frames 3 through 6 for the Cardinals pitcher. Luckily, it seems like Minor was as effective as our offense has been ineffective, giving up not much besides a leadoff double to Matt Carpenter and some “productive outs” resulting in a single tally. And I see from the red text that Andrelton Simmons answered with a HR in the 7th! Way to go, Simba!

Scrolling, scrolling…. Another EJ sighting! That’s two hits on the day for him, equaling, I think, his season total with the Royals! And Gerald Laird hits one far enough to bring him in on a sac fly! That’s some A-B-C baseball, the sight of which is all that remains between Joe Simpson and Viagra!

Man, things really heated up here at the end. Luis Avilan came in and shat the bed, requiring–

W

T

F?!?

Okay, this is probably a misprint, but it says that… Craig Kimbrel… came in in the 8th? Yeah, there’s no way that’s true. Sorry I wasn’t able to see the game and report what actually happened, but I’ll just have to go by this erroneous ESPN play-by-play list. And it says Kimbrel came in and got Yadier Molina to ground out. And after that, I think, in an effort (maybe?) to give Kimrbel the impression it was just a single inning’s worth of work, the Braves hitters decided to all make quick outs. Then Kimbrel closed the door in the 9th. Again, the lack of strikeouts from any of the four batters “Kimbrel” faced makes me suspect there was a mis-print somewhere, but the bottom line is, Braves win! Yay!

 

*Side-note on Johnson: I saw him play a TON while I was living in Raleigh and attending Durham Bulls games. One summer, I was doing some game scoring work for Baseball Info Solutions, so I got to sit right behind the plate. A family that I saw periodically down there had apparently gotten him to give their kid some lessons on being an infielder and stuff. They said he was a really good guy. So I’ve always rooted for him. There’s actually a bunch of guys from that team that (to my eyes) seemed like MiLB lifers but ended up making meaningful contributions to MLB teams. None were stars, but guys like John Jaso, Justin Ruggiano, Elliot Johnson, Reid Brignac, and Grant Balfour off the top of my head have all made useful contributions to major league teams at some point.

50 thoughts on “Braves 5, Cardinals 2”

  1. Really glad and relieved to see Minor pitch well. I think this was a big win – winning all head to head series with the teams we’re competing with for best-record is nice. Maintaining a .600 pace without Jason is going to be difficult, but holding all the tiebreakers certainly can’t hurt.

  2. Minor having a solid outing is the most important takeaway from this one. Need him on his ace form to have a shot in the postseason.

  3. Laird sacrifice fly was not very deep, Beltran was slow coming in and had to slide to make catch. Having 3 SS in the infield is good for the defense. Smoltz said it was smart for Kracken to throw fastballs with 3 run lead as batter fear the breaking pitch and he gets 4 outs on 11 pitches.

  4. Two thoughts:

    First, ditto on Paul @3; the Laird sac fly wasn’t “deep enough” to score the run. It was “shallow enough” to score the run. Beltran had to come in and slide to glove it, which made his throw a bit late. Johnson was *really* quick down the line but that’s a bang-bang play if Laird lifts it a little further and Beltran makes the play on the run.

    Second, Minor wasn’t very impressive in the first two innings, giving up booming fly ball outs that happened to be caught. He didn’t have his best stuff today by any means, but “gutted it out” as the Poodle likes to say. He only had two K’s all day, and he gave up 4 or 5 doubles. He managed to space them out though, and was more impressive from the 3rd onward.

  5. On the ball hit between Joey T and SUCCESS!, if SUCCESS! had caught it he would have had easier throw to third.

  6. Nice recap, Mavery!

    @2 Agreed. But I have a nagging suspicion that edge in the season series may end up being the second most important takeaway.

  7. Hopefully the fact that the team won largely because of bench guys Schafer, E. Johnson and Laird will help to knock the rest of the lineup out of its post-Heyward stupor. The good pitching performance by Minor certainly didn’t hurt, either.

  8. To be fair, there’s a difference between going up against Lance Lynn and facing down Adam Wainwright.

  9. When you have a 12 game lead, there aren’t many situations that can be called “must win.”

    But I will say, this was a huge win.

  10. Just updated my little Bradley-Terry team rankings tool. My previous prediction for Atlanta was 100.5 wins. It’s now 99.1. Not too bad. We’ve played the last game on the season we aren’t favored to win. I forecast LA at 95.9 wins and Pittsburgh at 93.7.

  11. If a seven-day rest can do this to Minor, Fredi should do this to Teheran and Medlen as well. Wait, we do not have that luxury anymore….

  12. In September I think we should be able to skip every starter at least once and just throw a AAA guy out there. Not sure if Fredi wants to do that, but the opening is there. I’m not sure if best record is more important than having all our arms lined up and well rested.

  13. @18 It will take a while to evaluate the exam. It took months for Venters who had previous Tommy Johns.

  14. by cool Siloam’s shady rill
    how sweet the lilly grows
    and painful is the consequence
    of Jason’s forced repose.

  15. Napoleon, he may return
    but Josephine? that’s some concern
    distractions once eschewed
    particularly if lewd
    would flourish when the rains adjourn.

  16. el oso blanco we perceive
    has lasik written on his sleeve
    he’s had a chat with Dan
    who’s told him if you scan
    the ball appears, sounds so naive.

  17. Francoeur may be a better pitcher than position player. His one skill is his arm, so he might as well try a position that could use it. A lot less athletic no-punch hitters have become good pitchers…

  18. Yes Uggla is playing today and tomorrow then activated on Wed. Maybe the Nats will give us Dan Haren. He’s turned it around.

  19. In a bizarre twist for an extreme three true outcome player, I predict that Dan has more homeruns than hits tonight.

  20. There’s a fairly optimistic piece on ESPN.com today about the Braves’ post-season chances in the face of the recent injuries. http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/9601002/should-atlanta-braves-worried-mlb

    Also intereresting to me is the way the writer articulates better than I’ve been able to in my head what felt unconvincing about whoever it was who was annoyed and trying to school me last week (when I asked for empirical reassurance regarding the threat posed by the Dodgers). The writer, Paul Swydan, notes that the documented data disproving the notion of “momentum” going into the playoffs answer a separate question from “Are the same people who went 12-1 and 14-0 streaks going to be the people on the field in October?” The second one, in his view and mine, is the more relevant, and is not resolved in any conclusive sense by the data that answer the first one.

    Which is a long way of saying: If you keep taking the most effective pieces off the board, you can’t expect to win as often. (You might, but you shouldn’t expect to.)

    Not that it matters. None of us have any control over any of that. And it doesn’t help when people randomly post “DOOOOOOMED!” as if that’s anything but a smart-aleck sentiment. There’s a big difference between thinking we’re doomed and being concerned that our offense simply may not work as well without Heyward. (We got along for most of the season without Beachy, so I’m less worried about that, should his season end prematurely.)

  21. Obviously the writer didn’t factor in the highly-likely offensive explosions from BJ and Uggla.

  22. Yeah, I find the “Doomed” stuff annoying. It’s condescending, to put it mildly.

    In other news, Matt Harvey is having an MRI and the Mets have scheduled a press conference. Pitchers. Just, yikes.

  23. @mlbbowman: The Braves will not have a Beachy update until Andrews talks to their medical staff tomorrow. The fact they’re waiting seems encouraging

  24. Tough break for the Mets.

    I genuinely like watching Harvey pitch. I also liked watching Gooden & Seaver, although I didn’t actively root for them.

  25. @46 I wouldn’t make that trade. Sure, he hit that WS-winning HR, but he’s old and been retired some years so I rather stick with Heyward in RF.
    Or is that not what you meant ? ;)

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