Dodgers 5, Braves 3

It’€™s pretty brutal out there. In the month of April, the Braves drew the short straw on scheduling. The Braves play 28 of their first 31 games against likely playoff teams. Games where you have your best vs. not-their-best still result in a frustrating loss.

Tonight had Julio Teheran against Ross Stripling, so you like your chances. However, Teheran was battling the flu and only lasted 5 1/3 innings. It was a good enough 5 1/3 innings to leave with the lead, only to have Eric O’€™Flaherty give up a first pitch 2-run homer to Adrian Gonzalez. I love me some O’€™Flaherty, but he just doesn’€™t have it. We then brought out the A-squad, getting appearances from Chris Withrow, Jim Johnson, Arodys Vizcaino, and Jason Grilli. When you throw that starter and those relievers, you really have to hope you can pull out a W. Sigh.

The Braves offense is woefully anemic. As of tonight’€™s conclusion, they are on pace to hit 34 home runs. Even in a rebuilding year, that just won’t do. We were out-hit, of course, but we still had 7 hits on the night. With the decent contact and walk rates for the team, you would hope we could push more runs across. But at one point of the night, 5 of the 8 position players had batting averages below .200. Blech.

I’€™m watching every game because I want to see each player experience A Moment, a play or event that can galvanize a young player towards turning the corner. And, boy, were we close with Mallex Smith tonight. I was listening on the radio at this point, and I can’t find a highlight, but this is what it sounded like: Justin Turner hit a ball into the left-center gap. Mallex was shaded towards right-center and nearly made a run-saving catch in the gap. Instead the snow-cone grab popped out as he hit the ground, and a run scored. I want those moments for our young players as they drudge through a miserable season. We all remember the beautiful catch Heyward made in the left-center gap at Citi Field to win it three years ago. Players need those.

At any rate, we’€™ll be treated to more young Braves as either Mike Foltyniewicz or Aaron Blair may make a start on Sunday. Williams Perez likely has ended his bid to be a rotation fixture, and the future is getting closer and closer.

30 thoughts on “Dodgers 5, Braves 3”

  1. Good job, Rob.

    Our relievers aren’t good enough that 5 of them can all pitch and all be unscathed. At least 1 will blow up.

    Yes, it looks like EOF has been in the toaster for a sufficient amount of time. But, we will still need a lefthander and all of the minor league guys either are starters that need to stay there or are way away or have shown poorly in MLB.

  2. Headline at MLBTR, crafted as if it was meant just for Braves Journal:

    “Foltynewicz, Blair Could Step Into Perez’s Rotation Spot”

  3. I think that we ought to merge them into one pitcher – Blair Foltynewicz – the star hurler for Eastland Girls School. Managed by Hall of Famer Mrs. Garrett.

  4. I just watched the replay of the Turner double – Mallex Smith was shaded substantially into RF. If he was positioned normally, that’s an easy catch.

    Defensive shifting actually screwed us twice with Turner… his single in front of the AGonz HR was really just a chopper hit where the SS should have been (but wasn’t due to the Braves’ defensive alignment).

  5. I still don’t understand why Fredi brought out EOF in that spot.

    I also don’t understand the Mallex Smith squeeze either, but Castro bailed us out.

    Can’t we call up Snitcker.

  6. Yup. Definitely a ball a centerfielder would normally get to. He’ll get there eventually.

  7. Greetings from Dublin. Will make my way to find a pub showing the Braves. No problem, right?

  8. That attempted catch was even worse than last night, because if he had kept the glove closer to his body he could have held on to it.

  9. Braves commercial: “Tickets to see Freddie Freeman and your Atlanta Braves are going fast…”

  10. 6 inning pitched, 4 hits, a walk, and 6 strikeouts for young Matt Nibbler today. So far.

    How long is the leash, y’all? I think he gets one more shot at a clean inning.

  11. Can’t we call up Snitcker.

    This team’s last good season was 2013, which was Snitcker’s final year as third base coach.

  12. And a player who will be good runs into a doofus who once fooled us into thinking that.

  13. Sometimes it snows in April, sometimes I feel so bad, sometimes I wish life was never ending, and all good things they say, never last. RIP to one of the greats.

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