Mets 3, Braves 2 (by coop)

Aaron Blair’s debut was not spectacular, but it was okay. The bullpen did its job. The Braves outhit the Mets 12 to 7; but on the scoreboard, Braves lose 3-2. Again. But I am satisfied. Here’s why.

Aaron Blair is a stud. His first five innings in the bigs, he matched Jacob deGrom pitch for pitch. That’s studly.

Then came the sixth. Things unraveled. That’s happened this year; but Aaron looks ready. The kid can pitch. I foresee excellence with occasional bouts of “oh my gosh, I’m pitching in the big leagues.” He’ll be better his next turn. Count it.

120 thoughts on “Mets 3, Braves 2 (by coop)”

  1. thanks Coop ,missed today’s game, but assumed from the score at least that the future may actually be better, will try to catch a replay on mlb.tv. It does suck, looking for moral victories, but at least we have them.

  2. The Hawks with the final “shot” in a tie game are like a mule with a spinning wheel…

    Seriously, I don’t know how many times I’ve seen them fail to even get a shot off in that situation. It’s pathetic. Atlanta sports :(

  3. Why is Swanson still in A ball? He’s clearly ready for a promotion. Albies is tearing up AA as well.

    Why won’t they move Adonis to LF? He’s not going to get much better with the glove. As long as he and Aybar are playing the field I will believe the Braves are tanking.

  4. Can’t wait until Albies and Swanson are the middle infielders. With Adonis at 3rd, Aybar at short, and KJ at 2nd, it’s like a beer league infield. At least Jace and Castro are major league caliber with the glove as middle infielders, even if they can’t hit.

  5. It makes zero sense to play KJ at 2nd and Jace in LF. Jace is the best defensive second baseman on the team, and he’s playing the outfield. And we have a guy who can hit but not field at all at 3b.

  6. Pretty sure they just want to see if Jace can be a utility player, but I agree that Jace and Castro should be playing up the middle

  7. They are very clearly not concerned with winning baseball games. I think they stick with Norris/Grilli/KJ/Frenchy/AJP/Beckham/JJ in the hopes that they can turn into trade chips. They know what they have with Castro and have no interest in taking playing time away from potentially tradeable assets. While not a veteran, they may be trying to build Peterson’s trade value as a super utility player. I imagine Ogando will get traded at some point if he continues to pitch well. I know “you can never have too much pitching”, but at one point will they have enough pitching prospects and insist on getting back position players in the trades of these veteran players?

  8. Also, is Seitzer’s philosophy working… a little too much? If I remember correctly, hiring Seitzer was a reaction to the “swing for the fences” mentality that permeated the Braves after the 2014 season. Is it a systemic issue that no one on the team has any power whatsoever? Have we swung the pendulum to the other side?

  9. @11, No. We just traded everyone who could hit even a little. The guy Seitzer supposedly helped the most was Maybin and he had a pretty good year with the bat including power-wise

  10. Monday morning trivia: Bartolo Colon is approaching a major league career record. Health permitting, it is likely to occur around mid-season. What is it?

  11. Shelby Miller
    when we heard he was sent to the outfield as filler
    we assumed he had started the game
    on the mound then produced just a little too much of the same.

  12. KLaw was asked the other day who he thought was the third best player in baseball behind Trout/Harper.

    …came up with two names, both ending in a vowel, the same vowel…

    anyone? too easy likely…’same’ gives it away!

  13. Braves are trying to get rid of Olivera, apparently.

    “Olivera’s trade value is so low that one executive whose club was approached by the Braves told Passan that he “can’t believe they even asked.”

  14. @14

    Bartolo Colon
    as much as is generally known
    will accomplish equation
    his total of hits and his age on this festive occasion.

  15. @18…no, and as you said just the one criterium!

    @19…yes, but…had you read what i read a couple of days ago or deduced it this morning from the clue provided? Prize will be adjusted accordingly.

  16. Deduced! But I think Donaldson is better at the position, and Goldschmidt better overall.

    And Kershaw, but I think he’s probably not up for consideration.

  17. @17, Maybe the Braves would garner more interest if they throw in Olivera’s party ride along with him?

  18. LOLivera. This front office is so clueless. Here’s a hint: *nobody* on this team has real trade value. Not Markakis. Not Freeman. Not Teheran. Those would be the three that you might try to trade, but you aren’t getting much for them in return. Who exactly is going to trade for a woman-beating neanderthal that can’t play baseball? Ugh.

  19. “Who exactly is going to trade for a woman-beating neanderthal that can’t play baseball?” The Cincinnati Bengals, maybe? (Assuming he can play football.)

  20. It’s not surprising that the Braves want to get rid of Olivera. We’ve all wondered if the Braves could trade him. What this tells me is that the Braves feel that the worst is yet to come with Olivera, that this isn’t the bottom of his value. But based on that, of course they’re going to beat the bushes and do their due diligence. How bad would it be for them to have a tradeable asset that they haven’t shopped?

    It’s unfortunate that Olivera is really the only player we’ve gotten back in almost 12 trades that was meant to be not only a present value but also to be a part of the future (Inciarte as well). He’s really the only player that it was clear at the time of the trade that he was the centerpiece of the deal, and the Braves clearly had big plans for him. Never mind the 9 SPs that are in double-A or higher and have good shots at being 3-4 WAR players, this was The Guy. And it is looking like Ugglian and Mudgian levels of failure by the front office.

    Save us, Newcomb.

  21. I went to see a game at Turner field for the first time in about twenty years this weekend. I was able to get two autographs from big leaguers! Bud Norris and Jason Grilli…

  22. @34 – Are you kidding?! Think of how much Dave Stewart would’ve given us if he’d already demonstrated his skill playing LF. And he might’ve actually been a better option than anyone else we’ve put in LF this season.

  23. @27

    Nope. Hint: the record is not specific to pitchers, although a pitcher is the current record-holder.

  24. The hype for Dansby is all well and good, and I’m certainly not trying to get my hopes up, but the comparisons seem to be to Derek Jeter. The way they describe him, it’s like his floor is Brandon Belt and his ceiling is Derek Jeter. I’m just not sure I’m buying that, but hey, let’s go with it.

    Speaking of our shortstop prospects, how many more ABs at double-A does Albies need if he continues his .338/.408/.441 clip with 7BB/12K’s? Do they give him a half-season, 250 PAs or so, and then move him to AAA? It’s amazing to see he has a -5.1 age differential for AA. And of course, if you don’t, what do you do with Dansby? He’s got a .342/.407/.493 clip nearly as many walks as strikeouts. They’ll have a decision to make with those guys before too long.

    With the present just so putrid, it’s nice to know this is on the horizon.

  25. @38, I’m a bit skeptical on Swanson and Albies, but their floors do appear to be higher than what we have right now, so that by itself gives some hope. Can they put up high OBPs in the majors? I dunno. I’d like to watch them try though. Anything is better than this current affront to Braves fans that’s being run out there daily.

  26. The fetishistic hoarding of prospects and fantasizing about 2017, 18 and beyond is getting very tiresome. Other teams have GMs too … they have prospects too. If the Braves have 7 of the top 50 – or whatever # – there are 43 others out there trying to beat your prospects. For every Glavine, there’s a Nied. For every Freeman, there’s a Schaefer. Meantime, the Braves are insulting fans (paying and watching) and sponsors.

  27. Mallex Smith is up now. That’s exciting.
    He’s looking overmatched by big leaguers. That’s not exciting.
    He’s being treated like a superstar by Braves marketing. That’s concerning.

  28. Defense up the middle and SLG from the corners. The first part I think we might have covered. The second part is going to take a miracle.

  29. Ill just leave this here. Freeman batting 6th tonight. Yes, Francoeur is batting 5th. Don’t worry though Jace is behind Freeman to provide a little protection.

    Also, Adonis is getting pregame work in LF today.

  30. @44

    I’m sorry, but that falls on the manager. The entire team is a collective Rafael Belliard highlight reel. It’s a systemic, on-field issue. 5 of our top 13 hitters, ABs-wise, are hitting less than .230. Am I supposed to believe this is Coppy’s fault, or Hart’s fault, or the Porn Baron’s fault? Are they going to have another “play like your job is on the line” conversation? How many of those are necessary? Will we see another “Fredi has lost the clubhouse” article? If he’s not going to be a part of the next great Braves team, then let someone else take a crack at this motley crew.

  31. I also never thought I’d find myself asking this question: when does Gordon Beckham get back?

  32. The biggest difference between the 2016 Braves and 1974 Freddie Patek is that Patek was worth 2.5 WAR and the Braves have been about 3 wins worse than that. A team that is 2.5 WAR every 18 games should be about a 70-win team. We are on pace to win half that many games.

    @51, I can’t believe I’m defending Fredi to you, Rob. Actually, I’m not so much defending him–I just don’t think it’s his fault that Jeff Francouer, Kelly Johnson, Jace Peterson, Erick Aybar and 39-year-old AJP can’t hit their way out of a wet paper sack. What, does Fredi have to tell Aybar to go out there and hit .280 like he did so many other season? Does he have to tell AJP to be 2015 AJP? These players are horrible. Francouer hasn’t sniffed replacement level in 5 seasons.

  33. @51, the entire team sucks and isn’t even remotely close to a major league calibre squad. I hate Fredi as much as anyone, but I don’t see how this is his fault. If your entire roster is filled with bad players, you are going to have a bad team. Perhaps a really really really bad team.

  34. Also, if 1974 Freddie Patek were on our team, he’d arguably be our best player (or second best if Nick Markakis projections hold).

  35. @42

    Correct! Tracy Stallard (1960-66) had 258 career PAs w/0 BBs. Colon currently sits at 242. Next highest is Steve Cooke (1992-98) w/193.

  36. Marcus Semien, Scooter Gennett, Welington Castillo, and Eugenio Suarez have all each hit more HR’s individually than the entire Atlanta Braves team.

  37. @53-54. You’re right. There isn’t much he can do. And when you have 6 of your projected 25 out in the first month of the season, then it’s hard to overcome that. I’d also love to see what the collective 2015 ERA of the starters we’ve faced is. It’s been a brutal schedule so far, and the one time we had a half-way manageable opponent, we swept them. May will be an easier month, as we play 20 games against teams currently .500 or worse, whereas we had that pleasure only 3 times this month. Of course, a big reason why the Mets and Cardinals are not below .500 is because, well, they played us.

    I will say, we may want to look away for this weekend series against the Cubs. With that offense and our pitching staff, they might go ahead and implement the 10-runs-after-3 rule.

  38. Our pitching has been league average or maybe a little bit better than that. Our offense (and fielding if you want to throw that in) is just historically bad so far.

    Some of it is because we’ve faced a good portion of the NL’s best staffs already. A lot of it is because we have no power and don’t walk. I wouldn’t expect the walk situation to improve much because for half the guys in the lineup you can just throw them a bp fastball and not be worried that they’ll hit it past an outfielder.

  39. @60, we are 24th in MLB in ERA, 23rd in WHIP. Team ERA+ is 90 and FIP is 4.34 (actually that is the only positive…we have a favorable FIP split).

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/team/_/stat/pitching

    What are we good at? Well, we lead the league in Wild Pitches with 14. Also we are 5th in runners stranded (which means we’ve just put on a bunch of runners).

  40. @63, I found it easier to just skim along the bottom row where most ATL players reside. Thank God for Nick Markakis

    Amazing to think that we not only have the worst team, we generally have the worst player at each individual position in the league. Ooh, and just about the worst pinch hitting, too.

  41. #63
    Drink to forget having to endure Triple-A baseball.

    Luckily, tonight I have Springsteen to help in that endeavor. But the rest of the season is a waiting game for SEC football.

  42. “We did something like that last year. I think we’re at a point this year where we need to get back on track and get back to winning games. We can’t have another year where we lose 95 games. We need to get better, and as a group, that’s what we’re looking to do this year. We don’t want our young players or our fans to get used to losing.”

    Coppy after the Simmons trade.

    Mission accomplished.

  43. There’s just absolutely no way that he really believes what he’s saying. You don’t add Francouer, KJ, Beckham, et al to a team that just had the worst half of a season I’ve ever witnessed, and seriously think that it’s going to be better.

    The only way this team avoids losing 100 games is if they call up half the minor leaguers before the break.

  44. @69: I wouldn’t include KJ in that. He was here for most of the winning part of last season, and was then traded to another bunch of winners. All he saw last year was winning. And I think he could be a good part on a good team. But otherwise, point taken.

  45. @24

    Maybe he meant going forward, and not right now?
    Having had the pleasure of watching Arenado regularly on TV and live since his days as a Grand Junction Rocky, I will say he is a Simmonsian level wizard at his position… with 42 HR. He’s been my favorite big leaguer since the Barves traded everyone I liked (except Freeman).

  46. Not reviewing that play at 2nd base is unacceptable. Do the Braves not know the rules of baseball?

  47. Fire him. Fire him. Don’t even let him get to the clubhouse. Give him the Lane Kiffin treatment.

  48. Sending Aybar to hit and not challenging should be the final mistakes in the Fredi Gonzalez era.

  49. Absolutely unacceptable. Fredi’s not watching the tape, someone in the clubhouse is, but that someone doesn’t know the rules? Unacceptable.

  50. Fredi was quoted today as saying that he moved Freeman down in the order to get him MORE at-bats. The guy is an idiot. It’s not his fault the team sucks, but he certainly brings nothing to the table but idiocy.

  51. If you suck at your job, Liberty Media must be the greatest place to work, because evidently you can be totally incompetent and not get fired.

  52. That very well may be. That’s a mistake that demands accountability. All I can think is whoever watched the tape said “Aw man, he came off anyway. They’ll call him out.” And didn’t understand that once he beats the force it becomes a tag play. Because no one could watch that tape and think the throw actually beat him.

  53. 93 — Not to mention with 2 outs in the bottom of the 7th, why not use the challenge? It becomes the umpires’ decision to review in the 8th or later.

  54. My theory is Fredi is managing to get fired. He knows he’s the fall guy and this is his last year. He knows he’s been handed a giant turd sandwich and he’s expected to go out there every night and eat it and smile for the fans and the cameras, with little flecks of Francoeur stuck in the teeth of his bemused grin.

    But he knows if he quits, he surrenders what may be the last big contract of his life. But he also knows if he gets fired, he gets to keep all that and get on with the rest of his life forthwith.

    Just a theory…

  55. That’s leadership, and that’s what we need during a season of transition. Fredi is the most tenured person in upper leadership. His influence has permeated the on-field that produces no-brained poor decisions and 13 of 15 position players under performing. When 13 out of 15 students miss a question on a test, you throw the question out. When 13 of 15 team members underperform, you throw the leader out.

  56. @95

    I was wondering if he was saving his challenge, but I didn’t know the 8th inning rule. That’s even worse.

  57. @96
    I think the front office knows the best way to get a top 5 pick is with the guy in the dugout.

    Of course after some of the trade blunders, I wonder if Coppy’s seat shouldn’t be a little warm.

  58. Fun with numbers:

    Take the amount of homers hit by Braves hitters. Multiply by two. Now add one. You now have the number of errors Adonis Garcia has committed on the year.

    Take the number of errors made by Adonis Garcia. Multiply by three. Do nothing else. That is the number of homers Braves pitchers have allowed.

    Fun with numbers cheat sheet:
    Braves homers: 3
    Adonis errors: 7
    Opponent homers: 21

  59. And now he just stands there like a propped-up cadaver.

    Fredi is the worst. The absolute worst. He didn’t start this fire, but instead of trying to find a fire hose, he’s standing by the flames, amiably clueless as he absentmindedly holds a gas can upside down, its contents pouring onto the conflagration.

    I want to work for Liberty Media, because apparently you can be grossly incompetent and keep your job if you’re friends with the right people.

  60. The Olivera trade alone should make Coppy’s seat warm. And with how terrible Aybar is, it makes the Simmons trade pretty bad too.

  61. How do you not get tossed there? It seems like Fredi has adopted the “player’s manager” comparison to Bobby but has neglected every other quality that made Bobby successful. I mean, come on, just flip your stuff there. It’s 2 outs in the ninth. Trust me; he’s not so indispensable that Tosca can’t handle a little bit of managing.

  62. If Peraza becomes a solid major league regular, then I’m right there with you on Olivera. Let’s give Newcomb a season before we declare the Simmons trade a loss. The KJ/Uribe, Kimbrel, JUpton, Gattis, Heyward, and Miller trades have been, to varying degrees, successes. He gets a pass on the Olivera trade, especially if the draft pick ends up being good. Zach Bird has sucked though.

  63. The Kimbrel, Olivera, and Simmons trades at the very least represent gross mismanagement of resources but are just representative manifestations of a broader strategy that actively broke up a winning team and pursued a race to the bottom. Everyone involved has to go.

  64. The only way the Simmons deal becomes tolerable is if Newcomb becomes at least a #2 starter for at least 4 of the 6+ plus years of club control we have him for. As he currently has a BB/9 of over 6 at AA, I’m not exactly holding my breath yet

  65. @107

    KJ-Uribe got Gant I guess who’s seems like a fine AAA pitcher.

    Trading Kimbrel was fine but they lost an opportunity to get another productive player by packaging him with Upton and then not using his money at all.

    JUpton got Peterson and Smith who both can’t hit major league pitching and Fried who we have no idea about.

    Gattis – we’ll see

    Heyward – yeah I guess but they should have just signed him

    Miller – obviously that one worked

    These are the “good” ones. Color me crazy but I don’t think the team is going to be good again until they hit on a string of high draft picks and build around that rather than whatever other teams cast off for 1 year rentals.

  66. No, the team won’t be good again until they spend some freaking money. Last offseason, Hart said they would be “players in the free agent market.” That proved to be bullcrap. They said they would “go after the bullpen hard”. Bullcrap.

    Remember, we’re evaluating Coppy, and unless Coppy wants to come in under budget to get a gold watch and a Christmas bonus, then he had no reason to dilute the Kimbrel trade by packaging Mudge. I don’t know where the money is going, but the narrative is that All The Money™ is going to Kevin Maitan and Friends.

    Gattis is a DH, and if Folty or Ruiz turn into something, then it’s a win.

    2 of 3 of Peterson/Smith/Fried have to become good for the JUpton trade to be a win, I will give you that.

    Gant looks like he might be pretty good.

    Look, we’ve got about 9 players who can’t be evaluated right now. This is that in between period where the assets are maturing. They should have spent some money on a decent free agent bat and bullpen arm, and they refused. That’s, in my opinion, the real sin.

  67. I couldn’t believe they didn’t review that play. Glad to see everyone was on the same page here.

  68. “They should have spent some money on a decent free agent bat and bullpen arm, and they refused. That’s, in my opinion, the real sin.”

    Well I can’t disagree with that.

  69. It’s almost like they are actively trying to lose. Pretty nice gig these guys have going this year. We could field a Braves Journal team for 1/10th of the cost, and lose all the games. Probably get better ratings too.

  70. I’m not here to tell y’all how to live your lives, but if you’re sinking hours a day into this team, you’re trying harder than management is.

    Poor @109’s over there talking automatically in terms of Newcomb (or, I presume, anyone who theoretically turns out good) being a 6 years and out player, which is some Rays-ass Stockholm syndrome if I ever saw it.

  71. We pinch hit for the .136 hitting Smith with the .137 hitting Aybar. he proceeds to K to drop his average to .134.

    Now with a sweet slash of .134/.157/.179

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