Phillies 4, Braves 3

We really could have used that win. With four games coming up against the Cubs and White Sox (the one Cubs game is a make-up of the rainout), the Braves would have done well to avoid getting swept by the Phillies, who are not good.

It started out fine. Tyrell Jenkins still wasn’€™t striking anyone out, but he kept the Phillies scoreless until the 5th. After Frenchy needed to throw a runner out at the plate to keep the game scoreless, Jenkins cleared the pitcher, and Snitker decided to go to the pen. Jenkins had thrown 64 pitches, and was mostly around the plate throwing almost 2/3 strikes, but Snitker decided to preserve his confidence, perhaps. He went to Ian Krol to get a lefty-on-lefty matchup with Odubel Herrera, but the lone Phillies All-Star plated the run. Perhaps Snit thought that Jenkins wasn’t fully stretched out, and 64 pitches was about all he was comfortable with.

The Braves took the lead the next inning, gave it up, and then took it again in the 8th. Snitker then made another interesting move bringing in Arodys Vizcaino to begin the 8th. Now, the Phillies did have 4-5-6 up, so perhaps it was Snitker going for the Fireman role for Arodys. At any rate, Arodys walks the first guy, gives up a seeing-eye single, gets a double-play, and then Freddy Galvis deposited one in the right field seats. That’s your ballgame.

Adonis Garcia had three hits to prove he was still alive. No other Brave had more than one hit.

As previously mentioned, the Braves have one against the Cubs and then three against the White Sox.

And we suck.

96 thoughts on “Phillies 4, Braves 3”

  1. Twins won, and they have run off a nifty 9-7 record in their last 16 games. We lost again and fall 1.5 games back of them as the uncontested worst team in baseball. The Phillies, inexplicably hot just this instant, have launched themselves into the neighborhood of .500 and the respectability that comes with that distinction at 40-46.

    I still think the team that has the best chance of dethroning us is the Reds. If they can redouble their efforts to surrender 1000 runs on the season, I like their chances to win the #1 pick.

  2. With the first 10 picks of the draft, I think most teams are just going to take who they’re going to take. Ian Anderson, who we clearly wanted over other more highly rated players, probably would have been available as low as 9-10th in the draft. The 10th pick in the draft was the 76-win White Sox, and I would much rather win around 76 games than win 55 and get the first pick. I’m not a big believer in the ability to repeat a “worst to first” kinda turnaround where you improve your win total by 30-40 games. I’d rather the Braves have enough strong performances by individual players to win 70 or so games than get a #1 pick. There’s just no value there.

  3. @2, sure, but if we’re going to be a 55-win team, I’d rather go ahead and pick 1st instead of 3rd.

    Who among us would’ve predicted 2 months ago that we would trade Bud Norris for a package of some team’s top-30 prospects and that team would look like the genius in the deal?

  4. Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse department of the BJ is hard at work. Breathe deeply, amigos. If we’re as bad as we look when we’re really bad, this road might get bumpy.

    We’re not. There are glimpses of hope, and you know what Mac said about hope.

  5. Once you come to terms with the fact that this is a 55-60 win team, nothing hurts except bad personnel moves. Try it, you’ll like it!

  6. Vizcaino is quickly becoming untradable.

    Whatever quality of fortitude is required of the “Closer TM,” he seems to lack it.

  7. I’m actually pretty ok with Vizcaino being untradable because I kinda want to, ya know, keep our established major leaguers. The best we’ll get out of Vizcaino, even before this, was a non-elite position player prospect, and I’d rather have a cost-controlled, dominant closer thank-you-very-much.

    Same deal with Teheran. We have enough 21-year old prospects.

    DISCLAIMER: If there are trade discussions right now that involve Teheran/Vizzy for established major league position players, and Vizzy’s struggles are ending those talks, then yes, I’d be disappointed. But then just trade someone else. Who cares.

  8. @2 – This is all well and good, but doesn’t consider that the number 1 pick came with a $9m slot allowance, $2.5m more than our allowance just 2 picks later ($6.5m). Our allowance at 3 was almost a full double the number 10 pick ($3.4m).

    Maybe you personally would enjoy finishing 76-86 like the White Sox did to receive that 10th pick. But to say there’s no “value” there is plain wrong. There’s about $3.1m in value between 10 and 3, and $5.6m in value between 10 and 1. That’s a pretty huge difference.

  9. Vizcaino has thrown 91 career ML innings, and just short of the All Star Break this season, he’s already set a career high with 35. Having debuted as far back as 2011 is not in and of itself a virtue.

  10. @10

    The unanswerable question that I keep wondering is about revenue. How much have the Braves lost due to the potentially unintended consequence of lost ticket sales and TV viewership? It just seems crazy to want to lose 15 more games, and completely alter your fans’ perception of your team, therefore losing, say, 5K fans a night, than to get back even several million dollars in slot money. I know that slot money is more valuable than real money, and I appreciate that, but there comes a point where you lose more money than you gain. There’s the potential that Coppy getting cute with the roster this year has cost him a hell of a lot more than it saved him. But like I said, it’s unanswerable the relationship between the two, but I’m inclined to believe that the Braves have lost a lot more than they think they were going to.

  11. I don’t care how much money the Braves make or lose. I care about chasing pennants. If you’re not going to COMPETE for the division, at least be in the RACE, I render no more enjoyment from 76-86 than I do from 66-96. And $6m in draft allowance, spent wisely, brings the club closer to competing for future pennants.

    I’d rather have Anderson and Cumberland and Wentz and Muller than just Anderson plus finish 4th instead of 5th.

  12. Whether you like it or not, you care how much money the Braves make or lose. They will set their budgets based on revenues. The budgets then effect the ability to chase pennants. When they screw up their roster and the 2016 product takes a 20 game nosedive, that effects budgets which then effects the ability to chase pennants. You may not care what the bottom line says, but the bottom line influences the expenses, and the expenses are set by the top line. I could be overly simplistic on a billion dollar business, but that’s the way I see it.

  13. Honestly, if that weren’t true, then there wouldn’t have been a rebuild. If the bottom line didn’t have to be met, whomever could have asked whomever to absorb the cost of signing Jon Lester when we realized we didn’t have enough pitching to compete. Or instead of running Melvin out there every day, whomever could have asked whomever if they could cut the cord and go get another centerfielder. At the end of the day, they will make their decisions based on the assumption that money and time are finite.

  14. The rebuild is only possible through the draft, exactly because we have limited budget. That’s why finishing last is the thing to do. It’s not just about trying to get a Bryce Harper, it’s as much about maxing the slot money and having more flexibility than you would if you won 75 games.

  15. @17, true enough, but part of it is about getting a Bryce Harper. If there’s not one, it’s about getting 4 Ian Andersons.

    The international signing fest was also well calculated and well timed. There is much uncertainty, but there is no question which team accumulated the most premium talent over the last month.

  16. I still contend we could have followed this same overall path without the firesale, and ended up pretty much the same position in 2022…but it is what it is. This part was inevitable, but I would have done the first part differently.

  17. The Atlanta Braves are spending $86m on major league players this year, much of it dead money and have spent like $30m on amateur signings in the last month. I think you grossly exaggerate bottom-line vs payroll concerns.

    I definitely understand why I should care about the Braves ability to field a competitive team. I understand that years of overpaying Derek Lowe, Dan Uggla, BJ Upton while simultaneously drafting poorly and spending young talent on hired-hands like Justin Upton and Michael Bourn is what got us in the position to need a rebuild. (Obviously coupled with the catastrophic failure of two major starting rotation pieces (Medlen and Beachy) and the loss through free agency and injury of two major bullpen pieces (O’Flaherty and Venters) and the retirement of a productive offensive player (Chipper Jones) but the inability to recover from those losses goes back again to the poor farm system and lack of financial flexibility.)

    I guess I can’t follow how spending $26m a year for a single pitcher’s age 31 through 36 seasons, the first two of which would be this Braves team’s ’15 and ’16, would qualify as handling the bottom-line responsibly while shedding long-term contracts in favor of young, talented, controllable players at the expense of sone gate draw is somehow catastrophic.

    I feel secure in saying the renewed flexibility of shedding contracts and replacing them with talented controllable players far outweighs the effects of fans staying home.

  18. Rob will never budge from the idea we should’ve spent 30 mil more on this seasons ML roster. Fair enough. Agree to disagree.

  19. Once the Braves have a winner on the field, fans will come back. And until then, with this new stadium design and the congested roadways, once inside a great many fans will likely be trapped on the stadium grounds and never able to leave. So we have that going for us.

  20. Rob Whalen is having the best season of all our pitching prospects. Another great start with 6 innings, 1 R, 9 K, 2 BB, 4 H.

  21. In addition to @23, more farm notes:

    • Omar Infante goes 2 for 4 with a double at Gwinnett
    • Ozzie Albies goes 2 for 4, raising his BA to .389 at MS
    • Dansby makes two errors at short, 8 on the season at MS
    • A guy named Caleb Beech has been putting together a decent 2016 between A and AA: 27.1 IP and 31 H, but only 1 HR and 2 BB on the year

  22. I really don’t want to be misrepresented. I am openly wondering if there is a point of critical mass that a team does not want to go below because of hemorrhaging of ticket and TV revenue. I am inclined to believe that there is a point by which you do not want your entire fanbase to give up. Yes, of course, fans will always come back when the team is competitive, and the bandwagon is always standing room only. But is there a level of ineptitude that the Braves know they do not want to go below. I am inclined to believe the Braves have some sort of line they do not want to cross, and it led them to almost apologize to the fans this year, and it seems like they offered up Fredi as a sacrificial lamb. And at some point, you will lose enough revenue that slot money becomes irrelevant. I fear that my point is being misconstrued that I don’t think they should’ve rebuilt. I am just saying that it could become counterproductive to lose 110 games.

  23. There’s a distinct possibility that all three players Kelly Johnson was traded for will be major leaguers. If that’s the case, then we should trade Kelly Johnson every year until we have an entire roster of them.

  24. Rob Cope, I agree with you unless there is a transcendent #1-1 pick. No, its not worth if it you have to pick Mickey Moniak, but in a year that has Bryce Harper, Kerry Wood, talents like that, yes its worth it. If I knew we could draft Miguel Cabrera 1-1 in the next draft, it would be worth it to go 30-132. IMO.

  25. And on into the night…

    Well argued, disputed, reasoned, above all collegial. Credits to all concerned, to this Board. Not aware of any other where this can be found, at this level of erudition, with this passion. Consistently.

    All we need now is a baseball team it doesn’t hurt to watch.

  26. 10 & 17 are right-on regarding why having the first pick is much better than having the third. If you’re going to suck, it’s best to be the absolute worst, because that gets you millions more dollars’ worth of young talent.

    And, FWIW, the Braves would’ve taken Senzel if they’d drafted first or second. I’m very glad the Reds took that option away.

  27. I don’t think Rob is wrong. The FO has been blowing this “We are going to spend $120 million” smoke. It hasn’t happened. Granted, they don’t have to and shouldn’t tell us their plans. But then again, they shouldn’t lie and say they are going to be something they are not.

  28. Kidding, of course.

    So the question becomes whether the millions in young talent offsets potentially even more millions in lost revenue? That’s what we got here.

  29. Public Service Announcement:

    As many of you remember, we had some issues at Ft. Smitty a few years back when my wife gave birth. Thankfully, everything worked out. Blood Assurance contacted my wife about making a commercial and I though I would share it here.

  30. Good work, Ms. Smitty. Glad those 22 folks gave of themselves. Especially glad all is well at Fort Smitty, except for those god-awful orange shirts y’all wear.

  31. @33, thanks, Smitty. So happy that you are all in health.

    By the way, Ronald Acuna made the Honorable Mentions list for the latest Baseball Prospectus Top 50 prospects:

    Ronald Acuna, OF, Atlanta Braves
    Why He’ll Succeed: If the raw tools (speed, defense, and even some power) he flashes combine with the advanced approach—and not just for an 18-year-old in his full season debut—they’ll create a Voltron-style prospect who people fall all over themselves just to see and/or talk about.

    Why He Might Fail: The likely three-plus years of development time could reduce him down to merely a defense- and speed-based center fielder whose hit and power tools leave those who remembered his near-breakout in 2016 forever disappointed.

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=29757

    Kid’s a stud.

  32. Tanking made sense in 2016. There was the generational talent; it was just in the international market. Since you needed the funds to sign him, it made sense to tank. But there’s no generational talent in 2017 and you’re now banned from the international market, so it doesn’t make sense to nosedive anymore. The extra slot money pails in comparison to losing 110 games. The nosedive is over. Pull up. Keep Teheran and Vizzy, and be respectable in the second half of 2016. Instead of “52-win Braves open new stadium”, the narrative is “The Braves, after a second half surge, bring optimism to Sun Trust Park” or some crap. You might not see the value in momentum, but there is when you have a clear reason for the momentum: we started holding onto talent and we were .500 in the second half of 2016.

    The FO all but confirmed that they know they can’t lose 110 games when they fired Fredi, and all but apologized for being terrible. “We expected to be better”, “we expected to be better”. That’s about as close as you’ll get. The talent that we receive with $7-8M more million in slot money for the 2017 draft is not worth the cost.

  33. It sounds like Bregman may not stay at shortstop, while pretty much everyone thinks Dansby will. All in all, I think I’d probably rather have Dans, who may have a lower ceiling but almost certainly has a higher floor.

    But I wouldn’t mind having a hitter in our system who could hit .400 at Triple-A. Must be nice.

  34. @36, there’s no possible way to be “respectable” in the second half without big roster changes. It’s not that we’re just not trying real hard or messing up on purpose, it’s that they’ve assembled one of the worst teams of all time.

    If you are arguing that we should call up the kids, then yeah…you’re preaching to the choir.

  35. Teams can’t just will themselves to a .500 record. We got fooled by a tremendous first half fluke in 2015 into thinking that .500 records just happen to any assemblage of major league players. People were forecasting a 75-80 win season for this squad. If you’re still unfazed by the fact this team is still on a 53-win clip more than halfway through the season, I don’t know what more evidence you need. Heck, this team needs to play .440 baseball over the final 77 games to avoid 100 losses. Ain’t gonna happen

  36. 32—

    So the question becomes whether the millions in young talent offsets potentially even more millions in lost revenue? That’s what we got here.

    Rob, even more millions in lost revenue due to finishing as the worst team in baseball instead of the third-worst team in baseball? I kind of think that by the time you’re bad enough to be third-worst (for the second year in a row), you’re not really losing fans by being even worse than that. The only ones still there and giving you their money will probably stick with you through anything.

  37. I don’t think we’ll be .500 in the second half, but we were 12-15 in June. It’s not going to happen, but if we get Mallex back soon, Ender/Beckham/d’Arnaud/Peterson/Flowers keep hitting the way they have, and we can get five real prospects in the rotation to match the bullpen, then we could get close to .500 in the second half. Like I said, it’s probably not going to happen, and having 2/5 of our starting rotation occupied by minor league filler and Mallex still gone for 6+ weeks doesn’t make me optimistic.

    You don’t have to will yourself, but getting the right players on the field will have us closer to a .444 pace (our June record) than an April pace.

  38. whoops, .440 baseball would put us at exactly 62-100, so we need to play .455 baseball. I actually think Gordon Beckham can help us do that as much as anyone else available.

  39. @42

    I’m arguing a 76-win team is much more economically attractive to the average fan than a 53-win team. Like I said, I don’t know where it is, but there does come a point where your team becomes plutonium as an entertainment device, and I’m arguing the closer you are to 53-wins, the more likely it is. I’m also not saying third-worst; my original argument was based on being the 9th-worst team in baseball (a 76 win team).

    We’ll have to agree to disagree because it’s unprovable but I am convinced that a 76-win team brings in the average fan a lot better than a 53-win team. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty convinced.

  40. Seems like someone could pull up data on attendance vs record…maybe do a moving avg or something. I’m too lazy

  41. The overall record’s going to stink either way. At this point it’s about calling up some of the kids and having them look like actual major league ballplayers. The FO can sell “Come see the next era of Braves stars emerge!”, but another year of “Come see Kelly Johnson until we trade him to the Mets!” won’t fly.

    @47 I’d put him at 3B and move Adonis to LF until Aybar is inevitably dealt, then slide him in at SS.

  42. Apparently M-Braves announcer Kyle Tait shared some interesting info on Lucas Sims. Sims says his AAA struggles were related to a mechanical flaw (pretty obvious from watching him, he was repeating his delivery horribly) but that he got caught up in the coaching shuffle after Fredi was fired; none of his coaches knew him. Moved back to AA, working with his old pitching coach again and showing improvement.

    So far tonight: 5 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 BB, 6 K. 67 pitches, 44 strikes.

  43. Nice job by the bp the last few games….

    Harrell was tough to watch at times, but overall, he deserves to continue starting for the barves

  44. 2 hrs by Markakis and 2 walks by Francoeur in the same game. This will never happen again in our lifetime.

  45. How about that? A win that legitimately feels like a big win! In reality, it’s no bigger than any other, given where we are this year, but in extra innings against the Cubs in Wrigley Field after blowing a late lead is about as good as we’re gonna get this year.

  46. I’m gonna guess that, unless we knock the Mets out of the playoffs in September, the sweep in Flushing will remain this team’s high point.

    But tonight was certainly alright.

  47. Lucas Harrell
    had the Chicago Cubs over a barrel
    so Bryant proffered the knee
    I can’t hit you but you can certainly hit me.

  48. Yeah, I guess that about settles it. Let’s go back to batting average and errors.

    Whether it’s on here or in the broadcast booth, why does it feel like we’re the only team where this conversation is still happening?

  49. Acuna has been on the DL at Rome for a long time. Does anyone know the nature of his injury?

  50. It’s hard to talk about baseball with what has been going on in Dallas, but I am wondering when we traded for this power-hitting right fielder.

  51. @88

    So we “graduated” Olivera and Blair from the list (if you want to call it that). Dansby, Albies, Allard, and Soroka moved up on the list, and Newcomb and Touki went down on the list.

    For clarity, did they “graduate” Blair, or is he still a prospect that is no longer in the top 100?

  52. I’ve been assured that Player A is one of the best 15 position players in baseball, and that I’m not even allowed to argue otherwise.

    Player B is better than Player A this year, offensively, and by more than a little. And for half the price.

  53. I’ve been assured that Player A is one of the best 15 position players in baseball, and that I’m not even allowed to argue otherwise.

    Nothing engenders sympathy quite like an aggrieved majority…what do you propose to right this wrong that’s been inflicted on you? A bigger font size to post with?

    Player B is better than Player A this year, offensively, and by more than a little. And for half the price.

    If you want to pretend only offense matters, sure, Player B > A this season. Player B’s contract > A’s contract too. But I could at least trade Player A for something if I wanted to sell low.

    You know what, though, we might as well keep him since we can’t seem to stop talking about him anyway.

  54. 92 – I don’t want to cross any political lines here, but it’s a dark day. However, the police chief there has shown incredible leadership and he’s a beacon of light for that community. Prayers sent.

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