Believe It or Not! Atlanta 5, Chicago 1

Whaaaaah…Whaaa…What just happened?

I mean, according to ESPN, you got the 41-17 Cubs, EASILY the best baseball team since, oh, the ’27 Yankees, strutting into Turner Field to face the 17-42 Braves, the only team worse than, oh, the ’62 Amazin’ Mets. Bud Norris, Mr. 1-7, Lost His Rotation Spot Because He’s Bad, I Mean Charlie Brown Bad, facing Jason Hammel, Mr. 7-1, Probably The Cubbbies Third Best Starter. Sounds like a recipe for a 1970’s era Irwin Allen disaster flick, doesn’t it? The Tempest at Turner, or something dumb like that.

But, as they say (and just WHO are the ‘they’ we’re discussing here anyway? Anyone? Bueller?), Baseball is a funny game.

The Braves opened the scoring in the bottom of the second, with Adonis Garcia and Tyler Flowers going yard in back-to-back fashion, the first time all year that’s happened for a 2-0 lead. But, in true Braves fashion, they immediately gave a run back in the top of the 3rd, with Albert Almora, Jr. doubling, going to third on a wild pitch, and scoring on Dexter Fowler’s grounder to Jace Peterson at second.

But, just when you think it’s the same old, same old from Norris, he proceeds to slam the door on the Cubs. He goes a total of 7 innings, striking out six, and allowing only a one out double to Fowler in the 6th. Norris’ fastball was hitting the mid 90s last night, and he looked like the perfectly cromulent starter we all expected back in Spring Training.

The Braves got the run back in the 4th, with Jace taking one for the team, being sacrificed to second by Norris, going to third on a Mallex Smith infield hit, and scoring on an Ender Inciarte sac fly. Textbook ‘Get ’em on, get ’em over, get ’em in’ baseball.

Jim Johnson pitched a perfect eighth, and the Braves finished the scoring in the bottom of the inning with an Inciarte RBI single and a Freddie Freeman sac fly.

Arodys Vizcaino came in for the Atlanta Save, and blew away the Cubs in the 9th. So, for one evening at least, in this miserable excuse for a season, we fans of the Braves had a reason to smile. In fact, it was so fun, I think we should do it again. Maybe this afternoon?

Let’s play two!

38 thoughts on “Believe It or Not! Atlanta 5, Chicago 1”

  1. The Chicago Cubs
    the epitome of elemental flubs
    The Atlanta Braves
    emerge renascent from their graves.

  2. ‘cromulent’…

    very fine and a total surprise…

    reading up on it it apparently means whatever you want it to mean, in the context it has been used…correct?

  3. Last night the whole organization swept their games. Lucas Sims pitched 5 innings of 1-run ball with 7 k’s. Andrew Thurman pitched 6 shutout innings, and Max Fried went 6 innings with 1 unearned run and 9 k’s.

  4. Pirates may look at Teheran. They just lost Cole due to triceps tightness which is usually followed by TJ

  5. .612/ .624/ .680/ .713

    How many of you would have predicted this? These are the OPS of the following players in order:

    Justin Upton/ Jason Heyward/ Melvin BJ Upton/ Jeff Francouer

  6. @6, Assuming Teheran is traded: How do we analyze the haul we’d get for him in the aftermath of the Shelby Miller trade? Is the consensus that Miller was more valuable then than Teheran is now? Or roughly the same? My gut feeling is that Teheran is to some degree a more desirable trade target than Shelby Miller was then (or really, ever). Are we disappointed if Teheran nets us less than a Swanson/Ender/Blair-type haul?

    PS: My preference is to hold onto Julio, unless we’re blown away. I like him. I also think once things click with him he’s going to be a runaway star.

  7. MLBTR published a couple of pieces that argued that Teheran might / should be worth more than Miller was. That said, what we received for Miller was FAR, FAR more than what he was worth. So we ain’t getting that much again unless we find another sucker to swindle, and there aren’t nearly enough of those to go around.

    That said, I loathe the idea of getting rid of cost-controlled players signed to team-friendly contracts. Teheran is one of our only good players, and selling high on him just pushes any chance of getting back to .500 even further out. I don’t know if he’ll be on the next Braves playoffs team, but he’s the kind of guy you build around. If we don’t build around him, we’re not building.

  8. It’s all the in abstract until they offer us Austin Meadows, Reese McGuire, and/or whomever else.

  9. At some point you have to say the retreat stops here. We’re holding here and we’re counterattacking. A trade of Teheran would signal the rout continues, run for your lives.

  10. There is no rush to trade Teheran, except injury risk. He is on track to have a career year. In that case, a 25-year-old pitcher, very reasonably cost controlled for 5 years, with no injury history, having just come off a 5 WAR season would be absurdly valuable. It would be hard to get adequate value back in a trade, but the very most elite prospects or bona fide young bats would need to be coming back.

  11. I’m on board with the Keep Julio Party. But if the Red Sox, say, offered Moncada and Bienentiendi (Sp) for him, that would be hard to turn down. I doubt we’d get that kind of offer, but two Top 20 prospects, both ready to join the big club in September would certainly be an offer that wouldn’t piss me off if the FO took it.

  12. @8, I read the links you gave there and it’s amusing to me that some of the contributors are operating from the premise that the Braves intend to compete in 2017.

  13. @11

    Yeah, at some point, you need to quit splitting cards and play for blackjack.

  14. The team is going to lose a hundred games or more with or without Teheran this season. Make all the rah rah military metaphors you want, but there are no lives to run for, the rout is already on, etc.

    Teheran is a good player on a good contract. He could also be on the next good Braves team. He’s only going to get traded if it’s clear we’re getting more in future value than we’re giving up. The best reason to absolutely refuse trading him is distrust in the Braves’ ability to evaluate other teams’ talent.

  15. I’m coming around on trading Teheran, honestly. The hitting has to come from somewhere, and Teheran brings A LOT more of it back than Aaron Blair does.

    That said, there’s no rush to do it. If Blair had pitched better than he has, or if Folty had been able to get through this season injury-free, or if Sims was marching in a straight line instead of fighting his mechanics, I’d move Julio at the deadline. As it is, I’d like to see one or two of those guys progress before I move him. So far, only Wisler had kept up his end of the bargain. You can revisit moving Teheran in December once you have more information on the guys who’d need to eat his innings.

  16. So, Gareth Bale, Welsh soccer player, shot a free kick goal today at the Euro 2016. The shot he took was called a knuckle ball…

  17. I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but…

    ‘Mercer head coach Craig Gibson, who also coached A’s outfielder Billy Burns, says Lewis has tremendous untapped potential due to his late start in baseball.

    “This guy could be a 10-year All-Star,” Gibson said. “He’s got some ceiling left. The other kids taken ahead of him are good players, but Kyle has a lot more in that tank. He hit the ball out of the park and didn’t run a lot for us, but that part of his game is going to develop. I think at the next level, he’s a guy that can steal 25 bags and bunt for base hits. A lot more to his game is going to come out.”‘

    We are really going to regret passing on Lewis when he starts bunting the ball around the infield for base hits.

  18. @19

    Sure – Lewis ‘could be’ a 10 year All Star. Or, he might just be the second coming of Jeff Francoeur – that’s the problem with the MLB Draft – you just don’t know (exceptional talents like Bryce Harper and Ken Griffey, Jr. aside). You do your due diligence, and pick the player you hope will help your team the most and then it’s up to the baseball gods.

    In Atlanta’s case, they passed on Lewis, but with Anderson’s reported willingness to sign an underslot deal, they hope to sign three players who will help down the road, instead of just one.

    Did they make the right call? I dunno, ask me again in 2022.

  19. @19, I don’t have quite as negative a take on those comments. I think he’s suggesting that part of what will make Lewis a complete player is his base stealing abilities, which apparently weren’t a preoccupation of his while at Mercer, and the speed and intelligence to be able to lay down a bunt hit when the opportunity and game situation presents itself. He was driving home his perception of Lewis’ versatility, not making a backhanded compliment that he’ll be such a limited hitter that he’ll be leaning on the bunt hits to get on base.

  20. (He’s joking that the Braves missed a secret world-class bunter, and they’ll be kicking themselves. Because bunts.)

  21. I would only trade Teheran if I could get 2-3 MLB major league bonafide hitters. One very very good/great player (should get, Teheran is arguably a great pitcher and they’re rarer), one average to good player, and a unanimously great prospect (preferably a right handed bat.)

  22. Meadows and McGuire plus whatever (Kingham?) for Teheran would be pretty good. You’ve got me dreaming, Adam R.

  23. When’s the next good Braves team? If it involes Maitan, then trade everyone, now. If Teheran can help in a couple years, I’d consider keeping him, but I don’t see how we can possibly be even above .500 before 2020.

  24. I’m pretty on the fence on Teheran. I would ideally not trade him, but I don’t know what the offers are, so it’s pretty much pointless to speculate. If the offer that Adam R and Stu have been talking about (a 21-year old outfielder with a .947 OPS in AA and a 21-year old catcher in AA) has come across, then… yeah, let’s have a conversation. If they also included a pitcher like Kingham, then I would definitely look at that trade.

    With Cleveland having just taken two OFs in the draft, maybe they would part with Clint Frazier. Killing it at AA, hits righty, 21-years old.

    At the end of the day, if you get an outfielder and a catcher in the top-100 of prospects, both of which are in AA or higher, then I think that’s worth doing. Other than that, I think Teheran is too valuable.

  25. I don’t know why EOF keeps getting chances. He was a scrap flyer at the end of Spring Training, and he’s shown nothing. Eric Aybar has had a much shorter leash, and he was actually traded for with the intent of being an actual piece of the team.

  26. Too bad with EOF, I was really hoping he could turn things around. For some reason I’m thinking my bold prediction that the Braves will sweep the Cubs at least once in the next 10 years won’t happen this weekend.

  27. @34 – Yep. Justin Upton really needs some at bats against the Braves so he can start a hot streak too. I’m sure the Tigers are trying to change their schedule now.

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