Stop this Senseless Slaughter…Braves 13 Red and Pink Matrons 5

‘ Entitlement. Bulging, besotted mid aged, pink faced, red bloused, red hatted matrons masticating away as they await the perceived inevitable win. Enough.’

Pitching. Two big names on the mound tonight were the first to put paid to that smugness.  Fausto Carmona  and Roberto Hernandez alternated in  an emergency start and pitched effective, sweaty ball for 5 innings, 3 runs. Ramirez was ineffective in relief leaving Kroll with the bases loaded which he handled masterfully.

Cabrera pitched an uneven 8th seeming to lose some confidence when he hung a breaking ball with 2 strikes to the lead off batter. Ended giving up 3 back to back to back singles leading to 3 runs on nothing but fastballs outside before recovering to strike out the tying run with one of each, inside.  EOF gave up singles to the first two hitters in the ninth but the mountain of an 8 run deficit overwhelmed them, we ended things with a DP. Exit red and pink matrons, the ones that were left.

But it was offense that won the night and didn’t we love it. 4 home runs – two  2Run, two  3Run. That alone was 10 RBI’s! Freddy had clearly read coop’s caustic comments of a few hours earlier and came roaring back with 3 hits and 2 walks. (Interviewed by Paul Byrd post game he admitted to ‘making a couple of adjustments’ –  Was I alone in shouting at the screen, “THEN WRITE THEM DOWN!’ We have been down this road before, a few times.)

He had plenty of company tonight, happily, to help celebrate his own mammoth home run, 438 feet to straight center. Ender with 3 hits including a consummate HR delivered with a flick of the wrists. Adonis slammed an opposite field homer with 2 on. Poor old Matt Kemp even got into one leaning down and across to swat it over the left field wall. Nick had three solid singles, Chase pinch hit in the ninth, started off with a lead off single, came up again in the innings with the bases loaded and very nearly had a grand slam, settling for a double which scored two more, the 12th and 13th runs would you believe.

It was hard to believe. There has been so much pain from our hitting. Like the night before. But revenge, on this scale, at Bush, is so sweet. (One footnote amid the euphoria – it’s time to stop patronizing Adonis and accept him, gladly, for what he has made himself become.  Our everyday third baseman – power to all fields, high average, vastly improved defense. Tumbling tumbleweed – leave him be.)

 

74 thoughts on “Stop this Senseless Slaughter…Braves 13 Red and Pink Matrons 5”

  1. Great write. Blind hog Freddie found an acorn. Are there more? I certainly hope you didn’t get all the runs, blazon.

  2. Garcia’s fWAR ticking up, he caught Kemp last night (for the full season, not as a Brave). I’m quite fond of Adonis.

  3. Adonis’ good play is also why it doesn’t make sense to spend big on a middling veteran 3B. He’s got 25 hr power and average defense for the league minimum. Hard to improve much on that.

  4. Was there ever a game that looked more like a sure loss on paper than last night’s? Betting on baseball would drive me crazy.

  5. Adonis has now put in an almost full season, and the results have been… not bad:

    144 GMs, 515 AB, .274/.305/.443, 30 2B, 19 HR, 64 RBI, and playing a much-improved third base. I still think we need to upgrade 3B, but he definitely has a spot on the 2017 roster.

    We’re now 31-41 under Snitker. I guess I kinda understand why one would prepare themselves for the worst, but I really don’t understand why people are saying we’ll lose 100 games. There’s literally no other reason why you would think that other than the fact that we’ve done so these past two seasons. If that happens, then that means a lot of these guys we’ve traded for in the last 2 years have completely busted, and I’m not sure why someone would predict that.

    In fact, if the Braves keep the pace they’ve had over the last month (12-13), then we will avoid losing 100 games this year. We’d have to go 25-27, and we would finish 65-97. If we did that, we would have a .401 winning percentage which is Minnesota’s currently winning percentage, and we should narrowly “beat” Cincinnati in the Worst Record Sweepstakes. The darkhorse is Arizona, who currently has a .400 winning percentage. If Arizona continues to torpedo, they could end up with the worst record, which would probably put us at #2 or #3 depending on what Minnesota does.

  6. In Adonis, Braves have a 31 year old player with an up and down track record in MILB and (briefly) MLB, on both sides of the field. This is not something you want to invest in. This is similar to the mistake Braves made with Chris Johnson, albeit CJ’s came with much more money. With money to spend, Braves should be looking to sell high on a guy that could turn back into a pumpkin any moment.

  7. I seldom disagree with you, ryan c, and I understand your position. I have been wrong before and could be now, but I don’t think Chris Johnson was close to the player Adonis is . Adonis has more pop and a better glove. Adonis is a young 31 and has good years left.

    If someone wants to overpay, take it. If not, let Adonis play.

    Or what AAR said.

  8. @13, “…I really don’t understand why people are saying we’ll lose 100 games. There’s literally no other reason why you would think that other than the fact that we’ve done so these past two seasons.” I know it gets lost in the awfulness of thought generated by the ongoing state of this team, but we in fact only lost 95 games last year. Only 95.

    And we haven’t yet lost 100 this year. I will be disappointed if we don’t!

  9. @15

    Alex, isn’t there a separate issue here, a moral one, when someone has accomplished what he did after many months of effort and has become significantly better than you had any right to expect he would be?

    I’ve learned from you he has years under team control which is great for us, what about him? Salvador Perez, the infamous 7 for 7 contract. He’s no Sally but the point’s the same and i would hope our FO be responsive to it.

  10. Losing 100 games is on the table because of our starting pitching situation and lack of power. Some of that can be remedied in the offseason if they want to spend money. We’ll see.

  11. Holy Toledo, nobody is talking about committing to Adonis long-term, especially not for any money (except blazon who I’m disappointed doesn’t own the Braves–he’d be cool as heck as an owner). Adonis is a perfectly workable stop-gap at 3B until we:

    1) promote Riley and/or Maitain to be our cornerstone

    2) trade for a Hunter Dozier

    3) sign/trade for an elite 3B like Machado or Arenado

    What we don’t need to do is to dedicate tens of millions to the decline of Martin Prado and we don’t need to be giving up picks for the privilege of paying Justin Turner 9 figs. Yes, there’s money to spend, but we need to maintain financial flexibility for those 2019 and 2020 years when contention is more probable. It was too painful for us to climb out of financial jail to voluntarily jump right back in.

  12. @18

    That’s friggin’ awesome. I love that guy. So sick you puke, but you don’t miss your start. I doubt that happens during a major league start, but I’m glad he has that level of passion.

    @20

    I’d love to know how many HRs the Braves have hit in the last month. We’re up above a 100-HR pace for the year, which while eclipsing a round number, still means we’re absolutely awful at hitting home runs. Interestingly, we’re 7th in the NL in doubles, and 8th in triples. If there was ever a team that could justify one or maybe two “Three True Outcomes” hitters, this is the team. I only went back to 2004 because I’m lazy, but only the 2009 Mets have had a worse gap between them and the next-worst team in home runs.

    The way the 2016 roster was assembled still boggles my mind. There are 92 players statistically on pace to hit 20 HRs this year. Before Kemp, we had freaking one of them. 4-foot tall Jose Altuve, before Kemp, would be leading our team in home runs. Yeah, yeah, Minute Maid, but still. And ya know what, give him a pass on Olivera not working out at all, but he still was never projected to hit 20 HRs. Even if AJP and Erick Aybar had career-norm years, they still wouldn’t have hit 20. What were we thinking? Unless Coppy is just flat-out, repeatedly lying about the “we thought we’d be better” thing, then what was he thinking?

  13. @21

    4) Stock Anaheim’s depleted farm by sending a couple mid-level prospects for Yunel Escobar’s $7M team option for 2017.

    That wouldn’t solve our power problems, but I think there’s a happy medium to found here.

  14. @22, I refuse to believe he thought we’d be better. We added Francouer, Beckham, and Aybar to what was already the worst roster in either league. That’s what you do when you are tanking. He can’t ever say it out loud, but all you have to do is look at how long we’ve stayed with Aybar and AJP this year. If we were trying to be better those two wouldn’t see the field, ever.

    I bet he thought Wisler would have done a bit better, but really, after that who on this team would you have expected to put up a better year than they have?

  15. @24 Who might Coppy have expected to play better in 2016, aside from Wisler? AJP, Aybad, Olivera, and Cakes all come to mind.

  16. I’ll give you Aybad. He knew (or should have known) that Olivera sucked after last year. Markakis is doing pretty much what he did last year, and better than I thought he would. AJP? I guess. I didn’t expect much, but probably more than -2 WAR or whatever it is.

  17. Up until about two weeks ago, Inciarte, who is still well below his career numbers. Jim Johnson.

    Also, faster development of our top 3 prospects.

    But these people we’re mentioning doesn’t address my initial point, that Coppy heavily under-estimated the impact having no power would have on actual baseball games.

  18. Trading controllable assets to upgrade by a win at third base for a single season makes sense if you’re expecting to win 85-90 games, not if you’re hoping you can win 70. There’s a pattern to the interest we’ve shown in vets. Kemp and McCann are both on short to medium length deals for a lot of money. Coppy knows we can basically just agree to take on their contracts, as we did with Kemp, and as I’m sure we offered to do with McCann. I’d look for another acquisition like that. It will make us more competitive without committing dollars too far into the future, and it will potentially give us a valuable trade chip if those deals become more attractive due to length or the player rebounding. Also we don’t surrender picks or prospects for guys who will help us win 70 games, which would be senseless.

  19. Who’s trading controllable? Keeping Garcia and adding a guy like Escobar that’s only signed for one year is exactly the way you avoid playing in the 2016 FA class at the expense of being able to play in the 2017 class, losing a pick, and having a roster full of False Hope and Wishful Thinking. It’s hedging your bet. If Escobar sucks, you have Garcia. If Garcia plays well, he’s a darn good righty sub for when Escobar and Kemp need a rest. He compliments Peterson, who does the mirror from the left-handed side. Maybe Escobar can be a caddy for Swanson, but I don’t know if he can still fake SS.

    Plus, bud, you gotta spend the money somewhere. Unless you want more P&L line items like Swisher, Bourn, Arroyo, Cahill, etc. and a Comp pick….

    But krussell is right. With the instability in the rotation, you run the risk of being equally awful next year. If we don’t end the year with 6-7 good, healthy starters, then we’re in big trouble. It’s a pretty healthy bet that one or two of Wisler, Folty, Jenkins, etc. will go down to TJ next year.

  20. You gotta spend that money on starting pitching. We’ll score more next year because we’ll have less dead weight in the lineup, but if you want to talk .500 then you gotta have someone you can count on besides Teheran.

  21. @28, when you say this

    “Coppy heavily under-estimated the impact having no power would have on actual baseball games.”

    It suggests you believe H Coppy’s lipstick-on-a-pig sales pitch for the 2015 team. But you’ve extensively expressed indignation that he would lie to everyone with that same pitch. It can’t be both, can it? The simplest explanation is that power costs money, lots of it, and we weren’t trying to spend a lot of money or win particularly. The spin was annoying, but it was still spin. No analytically-minded executive could really believe Eric Young Jr and Nick Markakis were going to produce runs like Stanton and Ozuna.

  22. @30, bad money dumps for prospects and picks is exactly what I’m suggesting we do with the budget. We are not in the same place as the 1990 team that had 2 stud corner OF, 3 established starting pitchers, and passable options at C, 2B, and SS. When you talk about trading mid-level prospects for one season of an average player, that sounds insane to me for a team that is staring down the barrel of another 95-loss season. Krussell is right about are pitching. We don’t have the horses in the rotation to flirt with .500, barring greatly unexpected and rapid advancement of several starters like Sims and Newcomb. I think our 1990 will be 2018.

  23. Chip Caray during that loud strike off the bat of Inciarte: “THAT’S A NO-DOUBTER…if it’s fair, but it’s foul.”

    UPDATE: Oh well, we got both runs about 90 seconds later anyway. Who is this team we’ve seen the last two days?

  24. Ladies and gentlemen: For the first time since his third at bat of the season, when he got a single, Erick Aybad has a SLG of .300 or higher. In fact, as I type this, it is exactly .300.

  25. If we want to trade Adonis while his value is up, I’m all for it. If we want to give players to the Angels to get Yunel Escobar and force Adonis to the bench, then that’s stupid. Adonis Garcia is just as likely to put up a .750 OPS and hit 15 HR as Yunel is next year, he’s younger, he’s cheaper, and we already own him. Talk about deck chairs on the Titanic.. what a terrible idea.

    Adonis career 162 game average: .748 OPS, 21 HR
    Yunel career 162 game average: .738 OPS, 10 HR

  26. Manny Machado’s day, so far: homer in the first, homer in the second, homer in the third…

  27. I recoil in horror, but it just dawned on me that it might make sense to sign Aybad to a 1-year prove-it deal. Swanson won’t be ready, and it makes no sense to invest anything in the position beyond a rental. Maybe there’s a similar, slightly better player than Aybad, but his situation is ideal: young enough to rebound, bad enough to not get any better offers, motivated enough by the potential of a future payday to take a prove-it deal. Plus he’s actually played ok for the last 2 months (well above replacement level) and if he were to play that way for the first half of 2017, he could be traded if Swanson is ready for a call up.

  28. I’m all for losing this year (and maybe next) but bringing a player back that is as profoundly awful as Aybar would be personnel malpractice.

  29. I kind of agree, but the more I think about it the more inevitable it seems: June-aug: .287/.357/.373

  30. This thread has taken an unexpected and perhaps absurdist turn. What a great house Mac built and Alex maintains.

  31. With how aggressive the Braves are with top college players, and how they don’t seem to care that much about time in AAA (with exceptions), the only way Swanson isn’t up by late May at the latest is if he completely bombs AAA and ends up being demoted. Mistake or not, it’s going to happen, the Braves are aggressive, and if he has a great month of April like Ruiz did, unlike Ruiz he’s probably coming up.

  32. What if this was the team that started the year? Fredi would be the manager, and we might be having some conversations about buying at the deadline. Crazy. Nobody’s really having a crazy season except for the flash in the pens that have since been dealt. Aybar’s having a walk year half season, and everyone else is putting in their career norms. Peterson, Folty, and some of the bullpen pieces are maybe taking their steps forward, and we’ve had some normal regression (Wisler, AJP, Inciarte). Nothing is really out of the ordinary.

  33. The problem is that much of our “success” has been predicated on improbable performances by journeyman or inexperienced pitchers. In next year’s rotation, you feel great about Teheran and decent about Folty. The rest could be disastrous. I’m still not sure Matt Wisler is better than Charlie Morton, and I’m not sure Tyrell Jenkins can sustain a 2 run FIP-ERA gap.

    P.S., we would not be buying at the deadline with this team even if we were .500. Cmon.

  34. @ #1. I just signed on and didn’t read all the posts so if this has already been said forgive me. That line-up is from the NBC tourny in Wichita, Ks. I’m going to see them tomorrow night. Chipper was originally on the roster but because of something in his contract had to withdraw.

  35. I still don’t think you write Ruiz off yet; he’s not dominating, but he’s holding his own as a 21/22 year old in AAA. I’m fine riding with Adonis another year though. You should have a better idea by the end of next year what you have in Ruiz and/or if Riley/Demerrite project to be viable options. If not, they can make good on their payroll promises and give Machado a bajillion dollars.

  36. Thus ends the major league career of Madison Younginer.

    @58, exactly. Third base is actually an organizational strength. It’s just that most all the strength is at or below A-ball.

  37. Hence why a $7M one-year commitment to a competent third baseman with a multi-year track record is a good way of not handing the position 100% to a 31-year old with 144 career games. Just saying. Not a terrible idea if you want to be good in 2017 (key qualifier).

  38. Unless Garcia falls off a cliff with the time he has left this season, I’m AOK with handing him the keys to third in 2017.
    Unless Aybar scrounges up another 35-40 hits through the end of the season and starts fielding some balls at a major league level, I wouldn’t even consider wanting him back.

    I don’t mind losing records as long as there is a plan for winning in place (which we have, so they say) and the players are watchable. Garcia is very watchable. Aybar is not.

  39. @60, Rob I would take Yunel for $7 mil. It’s not the money; it’s the prospects. It’s not that I don’t want to be good in 2017; I just think we’re farther away than you do.

  40. I don’t think you’d give up much. I’d imagine what we got for Hunter Cervenka might be about the same.

    Are the Braves the first team to employ buying picks through sunk contracts as a strategy?

  41. So fringe guys, like not even top-50? Sure I could be interested in that.

    And yes, I think we’re the first team to do that. Coppy has been very creative and strategic in amassing talent. It may not work, but it was bold and innovative.

  42. Not to divert from the whadda we do next, but has anyone noticed that we are winning games?

    This is kinda sorta the team I thought we were going to field this year. Not .500, but in sight of it.

  43. In other news, Player A and Player B continue to diverge, and not how you’d expect. Since the AS break, one is OPSing .484. The other, .871.

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