Dodgers 12, Braves 6

Forgive me, Braves Journal. I have sinned.

It’s been a long time since I confessed. Even a moderate sinner like me can score a lot of guilt in 75 years. Regrets: I have a few.

My more egregious misdeeds happened before I hit 60. I’ve pondered them and judged myself harshly. Where I could, I’ve made restitution. The march of years reinforced deeds cannot be undone. What’s past is past. I can only seek forgiveness.

What I confess today is ongoing. I have been unfaithful. Not to my fanhood, for the Braves are my team. I’ve been unfaithful in my viewing. I watch other teams. I am unrepentant. I like watching good baseball, and the Braves do not play good baseball. Andrelton’s no longer around to stay my wandering eye.

I started sneaking around with the Cubs. They’re a good-looking team. Lately, I’m more promiscuous. I’ve partied with the Pirates, the Red Sox, the Orioles, even the Nationals. My depravity is limitless. I lust.

I lust for Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. Even saintly souls occasionally do. Those boys are generational talents, and my grass will never grow green enough to lure them to my pasture. Therefore, my current lusts are simpler, probably equally ill-fated.

I WANT Salvador Perez. Sally’s a beast, young and massive enough to survive the rigors of the season. He’s a defensive stalwart, calls a good game and is no slouch with the bat. Kansas City would never move him, no matter how I lust; so I focus my desire on …

Jonathan Lucroy. Lucroy’s on the wrong side of 30. Catchers usually don’t age well; but Lucroy’s not the usual catcher. Tyler Flowers IS the usual catcher, and he’s a perfectly fine backup. If I can’t have Sally, I want both Lucroy and Flowers. Lucroy will need someone to help lift the load until the crops start coming in on the farm.

I feel other, deeper cravings. I REALLY WANT Nolan Arenado. I REALLY WANT Gregory Polanco. I yearn for both; but if I can’t have Polanco, Marcell Ozuna will be just dandy. I’d swap Julio even up for any of them. Maybe I’d throw in a prospect or two. I’d add a third guy for Arenado. I WANT all three. I am without shame.

In addition, I also confess that I stole the “who’d I like to have” idea for this recap from Chief Nocahoma. Thank you, Chief. This post is all your fault.

Aside from the occasional fleeting flirtation with a Kershaw here or an Arenado there, desires that tempt but do not linger, but that’s all I have.

By the way, the Braves played today at Dodger Stadium. They even gave Matt Wisler a two run lead in the first. Matt gave it back in the first, and Enrique Hernandez homered to take the lead in the second. My Braves never got close again. Wisler didn’t have it and got hammered. Snit left him out there far too long. Why don’t we coddle Wisler a little. He might turn into somebody we want to tell the great-grands about him someday.

Braves lose 12-6. They are now tied with the ’62 Mets for abject futility.

Tomorrow is another day.

75 thoughts on “Dodgers 12, Braves 6”

  1. @Rob–nobody wants to trade wisler. Just a running joke to propose Gattis trades for every young pitcher who gets shelled

  2. Listened to Vin Scully call his last Braves game today. Out of how many, I wonder. It must be right around 1000. Think of that — the Braves could hire a new announcer(!), put him on the mic for six full seasons, and he still would not have called as many Braves games as Vin Scully.

  3. Auburn softball outfielder just made a play to save two runs I guarantee you will be on the ESPN highlight reel tonight and rightfully so.

  4. “Sacrifice bunting — with position players, at least — has seen its popularity dwindle as teams realize the payoff isn’t quite there. In 2015, for example, teams scored an average of 1.44 runs when they were in the Red Sox’s situation (first and second, nobody out), according to Baseball Prospectus’ run expectancy chart. With runners on second and third and one out — the scenario had Bogaerts’ sac bunt been successful — the average dropped down to 1.28 runs.

    That might not seem like a huge difference, but clubs increasingly play the odds.

    The Red Sox do. They have sac bunted three times in 2016, tied with Oakland and Tampa Bay for second-fewest among all major league teams. Baltimore has done so only once. Atlanta leads the way with 22 sac bunts.”

    From ESPN.

    Im glad we lead the MLB in something.

  5. Yup, I watch a lotta other clubs myself.

    Kinda dig the Orioles, mainly because of Showalter. Gonna see Trout at Yankee Stadium tomorrow night (in a battle of 2 26-30 teams).

    However, I never lust for Harper. He’s like Bonds; I’d rather root against him. We need villains, too.

  6. @5, there’s a lot of synergy between making outs on purpose and losing on purpose.

  7. Nice recap, thank you. I, too, watch other clubs. Like you, I watch a lot of Cubs and I even watch the Mets. Still, when the Braves are on during my time of day, they are still my first choice. I like our young starting pitching. They are exciting to watch. The offense… not so much. Yesterday, what a pleasure to watch Fernandez vs. Harvey.

  8. It use to drive me crazy when Otis Nixon would get on leading off and then we would bunt him to 2nd. At the time our sac rate was around 70% while his steal rate was ~75%.

  9. Previous thread: Wilson Ramos is pretty good. I’d wholeheartedly support that signing.

  10. Does Snitker seem to be a bit more openly critical of his players than Fredi is, or am I just imaging that?

  11. @5 – I wonder what the run expectancy is for the Braves. Which poison would you prefer?

    1st and 2nd, no outs. .180 hitter with .430 OPS at the plate.

    2nd and 3rd, 1 out. .220 hitter with .530 OPS at the plate.

    That is a tough call.

  12. These run expectancy analyses rarely consider, as @10 does, that the success rate of a sac bunt is not 100%, and for players who aren’t very good at bunting, it may not be 50%. The worst case scenario is a pop-up double play, which happens a not-insignificant percentage of the time.

  13. Ex-Braves, Ex-Yankees pitcher named today in ongoing Panama Papers financial scandal.

    Apparently he knew all the moves. Just like the crooked bankers and so worthy Captains of Industry he knew where to go to have a Panamanian corporation formed in such a way as to evade US taxes on income earned here.

    Depending on your sense of humor, your level of cynicism, there’s something almost comical about this.

    WHOA!!
    JUST WHO ARE WE TALKING ABOUT? Wiki check now reveals same last name, same two former clubs, but NOT a pitcher like our guy.

    Despite my initial jumping to conclusions there’s more than enough clues above to name this guy. Our Guy. The one who was a pitcher. Who didn’t launder. Much more fun you guess, which you all will, than i tell you. Anyway, i just have to leave now to set up the usual secret codes to launder my latest SS check to Panama. SO helpful these gentlemen.

  14. Rafael/Alfonso
    it’s the pure Hunter S.Thompson Gonzo
    if you start mixing in with this crowd
    a bit of initial confusion might well be allowed.

  15. @8, nailing that equilibrium is called “managing the decline.” The great thing about sac bunts is you can lose and still get credit for trying.

    @19, if only we were talking about Pascual Perez.

  16. My usual assumption, whenever a generic celebrity or athlete winds up in the Papers, is that most of these people were pulled from school to focus on athletics or acting at a relatively young age and became more wealthy than they knew what to do with despite having very little education in finance. So they typically find a money manager who can kind of just take care of it for them, and since the beginning of time, a whole lot of those people are sleazebags. I typically assume that the player or celebrity had no idea what was being done on their behalf, rather than assume that they knew full well that they were skirting the law.

    Then again, as Joaquin Andujar once said, “There is one word in America that says it all, and that one word is, ‘You never know.'”

  17. I apologize for not being around in time to take your cue in the last thread, JohnWDB. It was set up so perfectly.

  18. @23..
    yes, he knew.. 931K handed back…the mindset of someone like this continues to fascinate..your Sponsors pay you 48 Million in the same year as you try to ‘fiddle’ chump change playing with your well placed insider chums..now metaphorically in the dock you thank your sponsors for the 48M and they, shamelessly, pledge their ongoing support. Hilariously these same sponsors – the Arthur Andersons/Barclays/KPMG’s of this world share a strong affinity for all things financial or, in the case of AA, did until the big bang.

  19. @24, I have a feeling there will be another opportunity. Maybe even this very week.

  20. I think you may be wrong @1 in this thread, though. Chief Nocahoma labeled him a suspect almost immediately after your comment. Looks like prime Gattis-bait to me.

  21. I somewhat surprised isn’t already past the no politics rule, but since it seems to be an approved discussion I feel free to weigh in: Investing money overseas and engaging a firm to register legal structures that most often have entirely legitimate purposes for the conduct of international business is not by itself evidence of tax evasion. Unless private tax returns have been revealed and do not contain accounting of the source of the funds in question, there is no reason to assume the mere holding of money overseas as evidence of wrongdoing, lazy media narratives notwithstanding.

  22. @17 —- we better go after some bats … we have NO power potential in minors or Big leagues aside from the Riley kiad at Rome – single A — I would go heavy on hitters early picks and then go high scholl pitching after that ….. we probably will miss out on Kyle Lewis the power guy in draft .. I think REDS take him 2nd …. we should go Nick Senzel ar 3rd pick maybe … would be hard to pass up on 1 of the promising HS arms like Groome .. I dont think the Ray kid from louisville is much on power. Not sure about Senzel power but he is a good 3rd base prospect and good gap hitter with pop … but would prefer the kid from MERCER – Kyle Lewis but dont see us getting the chance .

  23. Coming from our own GM, I don’t think we should be particularly concerned who we take in the early part of the draft. It seems there is a plethora of good, not great, options at the top of the draft, and whoever we draft probably won’t play a role for us in 2017 or even 2018. Coppy has doubled down on saying that he wants to have as many picks as possible and stockpile options.

    What will make an impact more on 2017 (and beyond) is how the $60M+ in payroll space will be allocated. I have a feeling that with a successful draft and international signings, Coppy will feel more comfortable pushing some of the high minors players into some deals.

    I don’t necessarily want to make this into rosterbation, but when you’re terrible, what else is there? I could definitely see this happening:

    Trade Jenkins, Gant and low minors guy for Ryan Braun (or increase the pieces)
    Trade Markakis for nothing and salary relief
    Trade Allard, Chris Ellis, and Rio Ruiz for Nolan Arenado
    Sign Wilson Ramos
    Sign Jay Bruce
    Sign Boone Logan

    LINEUP
    Smith
    Braun
    Freeman
    Arenado
    Bruce
    Ramos
    Swanson
    Albies

    BENCH
    Flowers
    Incifarte
    Olivera
    Beckham/d’Arnaud/Flavor of the Month
    Garcia

    ROTATION
    Teheran
    Wisler
    Folty
    Blair
    Perez

    BULLPEN
    Viz
    Simmons
    Withrow
    Logan
    Cervenka
    Rodriguez/Minter (based on readiness and health)
    Gant/Weber/Banuelos/Long Reliever du jour

    That’s an extremely good team, stays under budget, and doesn’t gut the farm. You have this next crop of talent from the international signings and the draft, and the low minors guys will become high minors guys. Get it done, Coppy!

  24. @29 very well put, Grst. There are not just a few loop holes.

    And hey, only four days until opening ceremony of the European football championships. I just know you are all very excited about it. Well, blazon, you might actually be.

  25. @30 Maybe we can go after a pitching prospect who is actually able to throw strikes.

  26. I’d be very happy to trade for Braun. Bruce could be interesting depending on the price, but as a longstanding fantasy owner of his, I predict that we’ll hate him. He’s a poor man’s Justin Upton: He’s basically had two good years (2010 and 2013), two more average or slightly above-average years (2011 and 2012), and he’s been pretty bad the rest of the time. In 2014 and 2015, his bat and glove were both so awful that he has actually been worth negative WAR since 2013.

    Now, if we could have him for Markakis money, that might be okay. Then again, he might be Markakis with more power, less OBP, and a worse glove.

  27. Arenado is unhappy with how the Rockies have been playing. Just imagine how upset he would be on this team…

  28. The Rockies GM would have an aneurysm from laughing at that offer for Arrenado.

    I think we’d have to do something like Teheran/Newcomb/Riley/Swanson for Nolan. And I would think the Rockies still might hang up first.

  29. Arenado would be a hard guy to trade for since there’s no way of determining how he will perform outside of Coors Field. Allard/Ellis/Ruiz is probably a fair offer based on what he’ll do at WFF, but if Colorado doesn’t agree and there aren’t multiple trade partners, then it wouldn’t get done. I think Albies/Allard/Ellis/Ruiz would be a tough trade to swallow. That’s a ton of young talent.

    If we win, I doubt Arenado cares.

  30. Yeah, maybe you’re right, but I don’t see Colorado trading away one of the top 5 bats in the game (in some order Harper, Trout, Machado, Arrenado, and Cabrera) for anything less than a Teixera/Miller type haul.

  31. @35

    Bruce is owed a $13M player option with a $1M buyout, so if he’s good enough for us, he’s going to be good enough for the Reds for one year at that price.

    At the end of the day, it’s not about player value in terms of WAR, but how he fits on our team. If he’s a similar cost to Markakis, then he’s a better fit for our team with the low power profile. With committing to Smith/Swanson/Albies up the middle, we are committing to almost no power at three positions. Eventually you need someone to run into a fastball once a week. With Mallex’s range, I’d willing to give into a statue in RF if it hit the ball hard somewhere.

  32. There really aren’t a lot of comps for transcendent talent coming over in trades. I think Miller is on the high side of return, but perhaps you’re onto something with the Teixeira comp. We did get a decent lefty reliever back (Ron Mahay), but we gave up Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison and Saltalamacchia. My best estimation of value based on current prospects would be Albies, Shae Simmons, Chris Ellis, and Rio Ruiz. Perhaps the answer is in the middle of Albies/Ellis/Allard/Ruiz and Ellis/Allard/Ruiz. We would also be getting Arenado for longer than we were getting Tex, and offensive environments are different now. Mahay changes the deal, as Mahay had come off of some pretty good relief seasons. You may trade Ellis or Ruiz one-on-one for a guy like him today.

  33. The good news is that you really don’t need Arenado to not suck. A power-hitting RF, Ryan Braun, and Wilson Ramos would immediately, and affordably, transform the lineup.

    I thought more people would have an issue with the rotation, but if you don’t trade for Arenado (and instead just keep one of the incumbents there), you could trade that haul for an elite starting pitcher.

  34. We gave up our #1, #2, #3, and #10 (arguably) prospects for Teixeira, but that was when our system wasn’t nearly so good. They were ranked #36 (Salty), #65 (Andrus), and #90 (Harrison) overall in that 2007 preseason.

  35. @42, Rob, you said “At the end of the day, it’s not about player value in terms of WAR, but how he fits on our team.”

    I’m not sure this is true. I’m willing to be skeptical about corner outfield defense with you guys, and I’m willing to wonder about whether power has some synergistic effect on a lineup, but I’m not ready to just axiomatically declare it so.

    It seems like you would prefer a 2.5 WAR season from Justin Upton with 27 HR to a 6 WAR season from Jason Heyward with 12 HR. Hey, maybe you’re onto something, but I’m not convinced.

  36. @46

    So based on that, if Mahay and Feliz provide symmetry to the deal, then the modern deal would be Tex for Albies, Blair, and Allard, but that’s based on pre-season rankings. Allard has not pitched, and Ellis has been great at AA. I dunno; I think you move the pieces around a little bit but it’s a similar deal. I’d be interested to see where Sims, Soroka, and Jenkins end up on lists based on this year’s results. If you could get Arenado, I don’t think any of the quality of the names are untouchable, but it’s just a matter of quantity.

  37. @48

    You’re right; talent is talent. But WAR is an attempt to mathematically quantify value in regards to wins, but teams are often not the sum of its WAR. You put a team of Mallex’s on the field, and they all provide 3 WAR each, I don’t think that team performs as well as a team with some at 3 WAR, some at 1 WAR, and some at 4 or 5 WAR if they slot into the system well.

    I think we’re basically trying to understand the merits of the semi-frequent 3-run homer.

  38. Taking Rob’s thought slightly differently.

    The way a player “slots in” also relates to a useful position. Somebody on here made mention this year of somebody getting James Loney and why the Braves couldn’t do that. Well, if you get another player who can’t play anywhere other than 1B and isn’t as good as Freman, he isn’t even a 1 WAR player.

    But I disagree for the most part on the “how he makes his WAR argument.” If you have 8 position players of 3 WAR each adjusted for the position they play (not 6 catchers and 2 firstbasemen), that is a pretty good set of position players.

  39. Here’s an interesting spin on it. The following 8 position players turned in a FanGraph’s WAR of 2.8-3.5. Each one plays a different position.

    C – Brian McCann
    1B – Lucas Duda
    2B – Didi Gregorious
    SS – Andrelton Simmons
    3B – Martin Prado
    LF – Chris Coughlan
    CF – Ender Inciarte
    RF – Shin-Soo Choo

    They average out to about 3.1 WAR apiece. Would that team perform better (on the offensive and defensive side) as well as this team:

    C – Brian McCann
    1B – Jose Abreu
    2B – Didi Gregorious
    SS – Andrelton Simmons
    3B – Martin Prado
    LF – Josh Reddick
    CF- Ender Inciarte
    RF – Ryan Braun

    What I’ve tried to do is put more power and less defense at less-than-premium defensive positions. I received more offense at 1B, LF, and RF at the expense of defense, but I’d contend I’ve made the team more balanced, and it provided more bases-clearing power (something WAR doesn’t account for when you have several, in theory, “table setters”).

    We have a tropical storm here in Pinellas County right now. Can you tell?

  40. Remember all the “Ender Inciarte will provide 6 WAR all by himself…the Braves would’ve been fine trading him straight up for Shelby Miller!!1!!” non-sense from months ago?

    An outfielder that doesn’t hit for power is a utility player, unless he’s an all-glove CF that’s bookended by power-hitting statues so it’s worth carrying his dead bat. It’s always been that way. It always will be that way unless they greatly change the rules of baseball.

    We don’t need all-world speed and defense. We need guys that can hit. Doesn’t have to be 450ft homer guys…gap power is fine too. Just be able to hit the ball hard consistently. The rest averages out.

    The best way to find them is to draft a ton of them. I don’t know how you can project an 18-yr-old hitter facing high school pitching, but if we get enough of them, some will work out. This is why we have to finish last for at least the next couple of years.

  41. Inciarte has been terrible this year, so I don’t think he’s instructive of anything. We could also talk about how bad Justin upton has been from the power side of the argument but that is also not instructive.

  42. It’s only instructive in that he’s an example of the relative value (set by an actual market transaction) of what a low-SLG outfielder is worth. If Inciarte is one of your corner OF’ers, then your team probably sucks.

  43. I completely agree that any team employing both Mallex and Incifarte as starters is destined to be the worst team in baseball.

  44. and if Jason heyward is your corner outfielder? He sure has been on a lot of winning teams to be a glove-first, singles-hitting corner outfielder. I get what you guys are saying, but I think it comes from a gut feeling about homers. It would be nice if there were analytical support for what you’re saying. Surely with all the SABR craze someone has run some simulations.

  45. nah….we’ll look back on this in a few years when Ender is playing like a young Willie McGee and Mallex is Kenny Lofton reincarnated and we’ll laugh. Now hold on a sec while I go grab another drink.

  46. Jason hasn’t always sucked at hitting. The pining for him diminishes daily for me though. That’s way too much to pay for an all glove OF.

  47. Does Williams throw harder from the stretch? He’s sitting at 92-94 with someone on base

  48. I am tired of seeing Inciarte lead off. He is now hitting .198. Mallex has been a much better hitter. Snit should flip them in the order.

  49. 62- To paraphrase a recent popular song, our offense is no. Our defense is no. Our pitching is no. I need to let it go.

  50. We just can’t have nice things. We actually had a run of good starting pitching and now some of it is going on the shelf.

  51. Ya know .. Freeman could at least act like he gave a shit for striking out early times .. he has pasked it in .. no leadership by him .. team will and has followed his lead .. it not like teams are pitching around him .. he is missing fast balls down the future.. now we are stuck with another big contract .. can we dump for some draft picks ??? Lol

  52. I tell you how bad Braves hitters are .. they are not even considering changing batting coach .. they know it wouldn’t do any good .. I never thought they would have been this bad .. looks like the veterans have said .. oh well .. we will just go through the motions …

  53. I have not gone to bed on an Atlanta Braves game day/night without knowing that day’s final score since May 1994, my last month of high school.

    I am tempted to break this streak tomorrow rather than stay up until the end of yet another punchless outing.

  54. Don’t worry, the draft is Thirsday. Is this the year we take a soft tossing lefty who needs a spinal fusion and only has one leg?

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