Braves 7, Phillies 1 (by ‘Rissa)

ESPN Box Score

There’s nothing like playing a struggling Phillies team to cure whatever ails you, especially when they start Tyler Cloyd. The Braves scored 7 runs off of Cloyd and knocked him out of the game after he had only recorded three outs. The good guys then coasted to the win. Really, if you want to nitpick, you could focus on how they should have scored more than 7 runs this game, especially considering that they had men on second and third with no outs when Cloyd left the game and then failed to get those guys in. And then they failed to do anything else offensively for the rest of the game. I will, however, focus on the good stuff because I am in a happy mood.

Jason Heyward. Boy, did he have a night. He homered on the first pitch he saw out of the leadoff spot and set the tone of the game. He then picked up three doubles, two of the hustle variety, by the fifth inning. For good measure, he added an infield single in the 7th to become the first Brave to go 5-for-5 since Chipper did it in June last year against the Cubs. Someone in the Braves marketing department must have anticipated this, because the “mystery giveaway” that the Braves hyped up for fan appreciation week turned out to be posters from Chipper’s retirement ceremony. I am sure that everyone who received one was just thrilled.

David Hale. He was not quite as dominant as he was in his first start, but he deserves plenty of accolades for his evening. After allowing the first two batters of the game to reach on an error and bloop single, he managed to wiggle out of trouble and end the inning having thrown only 9 pitches. To do that without getting a double play is pretty amazing. He gave up some hard hit balls that were fortunately right at his defenders and ended the evening with a respectable 6IP 7H 1R 5K line. His reward for his work was his first big league win and a bunch of celebratory Bud Lights dumped on him in the clubhouse.

Alex Wood. He picked off John Mayberry in his inning of relief work and then retired the next two batters he faced with ease. I think I am going to like having this kid available out of the bullpen in the playoffs.

Andrelton Simmons. Stop me if you’ve heard this before. In the 9th, Andrelton not only got to a ball that by all rights should have been a single, but managed to throw the runner out at first with ease. It was beauty on a baseball field.

I do have to throw in one caveat from the not-so-good department: Brian McCann left after the top of the second inning with a right adductor strain and is day-to-day. Right now it does not sound like it is a big deal (like BJ’s was in July). Let’s hope it stays that way. Other injury updates to report on: Brandon Beachy had surgery today to get his elbow scooped and the team thinks he will be ready by spring training. The Braves are also hoping to have Reed Johnson back to his normal self by the playoffs, and are considering sending him to a few Instructional League games next week to get him into shape.

An additional storyline from the evening was Tom Hart completely befuddling Chip and Joe with sabermetric stats all throughout the game tonight. He’s the only sideline reporter they have who could possibly handle that, and it was his last game of the season, so I guess someone thought it would be a good idea to let him have at it. To his credit, he did not laugh at Joe Simpson’s incredulity a single time…at least, not into a live mic.

Overall it was a great night for the 2013 Eastern Division Champs. They batted around in the 1st to plate 5 runs, and hit like they were supposed to hit against bad pitchers. It is unfortunate that we will not be seeing any Tyler Cloyds in the playoffs.

The team is tied with St. Louis for the best record in the NL, which means homefield advantage is still ours to lose. Fredi says he’s playing his regulars for the rest of this weekend, and so we need to hope that the Cubs rise to the challenge of playing their hated rival and play the Cards tough and pick up a couple of wins.

111 thoughts on “Braves 7, Phillies 1 (by ‘Rissa)”

  1. nice recap, thanks…

    I keep looking at what is happening on the field and in the dugout this week and find myself wondering…where’s Streetcar, why is La Stella not here and eligible for the playoff roster? EJ? Janish? Uggla? With a month of the regular season to settle there was a fair chance he could play both roles at a combined level well ahead of what we are going to get from these guys. They didn’t even bother to find out, to give him a chance.

    We mustn’t start the clock, eh? BS. This might just cost us something very special.

  2. acquire the streetcar named desire
    to add, perhaps, pubescent fire
    activities at second
    we hitherto have reckoned
    devoid of any hope, so dire.

  3. Last night was my first time sitting in CF in a major league park. I have to say I enjoyed it. I’m sure a large part of it was that Victorino is no longer in CF for the Phillies.

    Anyone else think that Hale’s strong performance this month has made him a prime candidate to be traded for something of need this winter? I’m scared to think Freddy Garcia is our game 4 pitcher right now.

  4. @BiertempfelTrib: Bream told @nprgreene #Braves asked him to throw out first pitch if they play #Pirates in playoffs. Bream declined the invite.

  5. Greetings from the ATL…

    I remember that the Yankees brought out Bucky Dent to throw out the first pitch of ALCS Game 7 vs. Boston in 2004. Didn’t work out too well for them.

  6. Any guess on what time the first game playoff game will start? I have tickets and would like to know what my plans should be.

  7. There were only three members of the Pirates’ last World Series team, in 1979, who ever played for the Braves. One was Bill Robinson, who came up with Milwaukee in 1966 and died in 2007. One was Lee Lacy, who played in Atlanta for half a season — he got traded from LA to Atlanta in November 1975 and got traded back to LA in July 1976. And the last is Omar Moreno, who came up with Pittsburgh and finished his career in Atlanta. Why not invite Omar to throw it out?

  8. What sucks for the Pirates is, after 21 years, they finally have a great season and may only get one “playoff” game.

    Nice work, Selig.

  9. Glavine. If he puts it on the outside black, let him pitch the first inning too and see how it goes from there

  10. @25, A non-playing addition to your list would be Willie Stargell, who was Braves hitting coach for several years. You don’t get more ’79 Pirates than Pops.

  11. If it is the Pirates I vote Cabrera.

    If it is the Reds I vote Deion Sanders or David Justice (hit a huge home run vs the Reds in 91)

    If it is the Dodgers I vote Bobby or any member of the 19991 team

    If it is the Cardinals I vote TP

  12. David Hale is pitching lights out in his two starts. But that 14.00 K/BB ratio is a lot higher than the 2.14 he put up in AAA this year, and that 1.091 WHIP is a lot smaller than his AAA mark of 1.387.

    11 innings.

  13. @37, I wasn’t recommending him to throw out the first pitch, just noting he was a ’79 Pirate with a later Braves affiliation.

    Hey, how about inviting Bobby Bonilla to throw out the first pitch? :p

  14. the point is: win your division.

    The division thing is stupid. Why should a 95-win team be punished, while an 88-win team gets a full playoff series because they won their division by luck of the geographical draw?

    If it was me, I’d let eight teams into the playoffs: the best four records in each league, regardless of division.

  15. @28 An ironic complaint, given that if not for Selig’s introduction of the Wild Card in the first place, they would likely be playing zero “playoff” games.

  16. @42

    Just spike the divisions entirely and have league-wide standings. The schedule includes 10 games against every other NL club and 22 games of interleague play. Top five from each league advance to the postseason. Seeds 4 and 5 play in a best-of-three at the 4 seed’s home field. 4/5 winner plays 1, 2 plays 3.

    Of course, it’ll never happen, because MLB makes too much money selling division-title paraphernalia. But the format of the last two years is a joke for reasons we all know.

  17. If you have to have a Wild Card play in game, I would suggest altering it slightly. If WC#2 is more than 2 games behind WC#1, there is no 1 game playoff. I’m not advocating the one game playoff, but if you have to have it, the second WC should at least be close. Last year’s Braves were 6 games better than the Cards and all it got them was home field advantage in a one game playoff.

  18. Tomahawk Take gave an interesting proposal for the Wild Card (it’s probably been suggested before). He suggests a 3-game series with the 4-seed already ahead 1-0 (he doesn’t mention it but I’d assume you’d have the 4-seed at home throughout as well).

    Seems you’d have to have an alternative if the two teams tied in the regular season though, but I like the idea of penalizing the 5-seed a bit more.

  19. @47

    The fact is that never in the history of the sport had one game been used to separate two teams not tied in the standings. Which is why it’s appropriate to wish nothing but ill financial fortune upon Selig and everyone else responsible for the one-game playoff.

  20. Selig and MLB have apparently decided what’s exciting is for as many teams as possible, as late into the season as possible, to pretend that they’re still in it.

    Nothing more “exciting” than a team under .500 in mid-September still having a shot at that second wild card, as did the 2012 Phillies. Mediocrity is exciting.

  21. I would play a “Best of Three” all at the site with the best record. You could even throw in a double header (but that wouldn’t make as much money, which is what this is all about)

    If you played the best of three, the winner would go play the team with the best record the day after game three is to have taken place.

  22. Looking back at that play by Simmons, Janish slightly grazed that groundball and Simmons was still able to react, set, and throw. Amazing.

  23. 51- I like the idea, but apparently players hate it. After all, the rest of the playoffs can’t start until the Wild Card Game(s) are done. No one wants to win their division and then sit around for most of a week.

  24. @53, Agreed. Neither players nor fans want to sit around for days while the mediocre teams work through a multi-game series. Ugh.

  25. 55- But then there’d be no time to settle tiebreakers, work around weather, etc.

    56- Lineup change: Elliot’s not staring tonight.

  26. Oops, false alarm. Only two Johnsons in the lineup. Apparently the 2B hitting eighth is Uggla, not Johnson like the Braves originally said.

  27. Why should a 95-win team be punished, while an 88-win team gets a full playoff series because they won their division by luck of the geographical draw?

    Because the division winners did their jobs. Over 162 games, they beat their divisional opponents.

    The fact is that never in the history of the sport had one game been used to separate two teams not tied in the standings.

    The two WC teams are tied in the standings. They both lost. They are the two highest ranked losers in the league. Since the playoff format requires a fourth team from each league, they get to play a 163’d game to decide which loser wins the “pretend you didn’t lose” lottery.

  28. Lets condense the argument – any playoff system is contrived by default because a team that has fewer wins than the league champion gets an opportunity to participate. After that, it’s really just aesthetics and how far you think you can get the fans to buy into it.

  29. Because the division winners did their jobs. Over 162 games, they beat their divisional opponents.

    This is like saying Lowe did his job because he got the Win.

  30. The unbalanced schedule makes comparing teams from different divisions less sensible. It’s the biggest flaw in the Wild Card.

  31. Sorry, but no one will ever convince me that the 102-win 2001 Oakland A’s, who got in as the wild card, deserved to be in the playoffs less than the 82-win 2005 division champion San Diego Padres.

  32. @64. And, exciting as it was, and as pleased as I was at the outcome, the 103 win SF Giants of 1993 would have been interesting to see in playoffs. Combining your comment and mine, what spike said at 60.

  33. I don’t have a problem with the wild card play-in game – or even with the wild card in general. But I’d like to see the best team in the league – Red Sox and Cards/Braves – rewarded more for their regular season superiority. Give them 4 of 5 games at home in the NLDS (or 5 of 7).

  34. The words I wish we could hear, now and for the rest of the weekend, are, “Tyler Cloyd is warming up in the Phillies bullpen.”

  35. It’s been a long time since we scored against a Major League-caliber pitcher. 22 innings, by my count.

  36. Kimbrel #50. Go Cubbies! (Yeah, I know, not much hope, but still.)

    97- One. Minor at the White Sox on July 21. Lost 3-1.

  37. @102

    In honor of the tenor many of us — myself included — have, I think “Panic” is the only appropriate choice.

  38. Not being able to hit Cliff Lee isn’t too alarming. That said, I can’t help getting a bit nervous either, and the two shutouts by the Brewers didn’t help at all.

  39. St Louis will be the third team to celebrate in the visitors ‘ clubhouse. Of course maybe they will be hung over an lose tomorrow.

    I’m pumped we just beat one of the best pitchers in baseball.

  40. “#Braves Uggla just struck out 168th time to match franchise record he set last season. Has 530 at-bats this year, finished with 630 in ’12”

    He later stuck out his 169th time. Congrats to Uggla for breaking his own record.

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