Nationals 9, Atlanta Braves 1

It’s hot, damn hot. Tanner Roark’s throwing strikes, but Ender Inciarte lines the sixth pitch through the box. Last night’s goat Erick Aybar lifts a can of corn to left. One out, one on for Hitman Freddie Freeman. His line drive to right chases Ender to third. Matt Kemp bounces weakly to the pitcher, who turns the play on Ender at the plate. Inciarte’s Aybad imitation is spot on as he’s an easy out at home. Now the inning’s success rests on Nick Markakis. His line drive reaches Ben Revere in center, and the Braves come up empty. Ender’s bonehead play didn’t matter, but there is no mistaking dumb.

Tyrell Jenkins climbs the hill, and Trea Turner rips his first pitch into the left field corner for two bases. Turner’s a player. Barring injury, he’s going to be something. Anthony Recker guns Ben Revere’s bunt down the first base line. Turner scores, and Revere moves to second. Bryce Harper doubles to left. It’s two-nothing Nats, and Tyrell’s still looking for out one. Soon to be wealthy beyond measure Wilson Ramos moves Harper to third with a bounce out, and Anthony Rendon brings Harper home with a fly ball to Ender. Three-nothing, but there are two outs. Clint Robinson continues the onslaught, lacing a single to right center. Mercifully Chris Heisey bounces to Erick Aybar, and the Braves get out of it with no further damage, down 3-zip.

In the Braves third, Ender hustles into second with a double, then barely avoids getting picked off. He looked out to me but stays alive to score later as the umps blow the call. The comeback begins, and it’s up to Tyrell to keep the Nats in check.

Tyrell’s rolling but stumbles in the fifth. Roark should have been an easy out number one but walks instead. Maybe the heat and running the bases will sap his stamina. Turner singles sharply to right. I want him to wear a Braves uniform. Revere hits a sharp ground ball to Chase, who turns a routine 5-4-3 double play into a force at third. Tyrell walks Harper to load the bases for Ramos, who delivers a sacrifice fly to Markakis is the right field corner. Rendon ends Braves faltering hope with a three run dinger to left. Tyrell’s gone, and so’s the game. Nats lead 7-1.

Nats added a meaningless eighth run in the seventh when Eric O’Flaherty played the clown and a ninth in the eighth when Ryan Weber threw a home run ball to Heisley, but they were just salt in the wound. The Braves never challenged in this game.

The better team won today. Roark pitched well. Jenkins had good moments but lost home plate in the fifth to eliminate all hope. FrEddie Picked up another couple of hits but hit into a double play when we still had a breath of a chance. After the fifth, the Braves wilted. Perhaps going home and the off day tomorrow will restore their vigor. At least Julio Teheran returns Friday. That’s good.

40 thoughts on “Nationals 9, Atlanta Braves 1”

  1. @Previous thread, all Jenkins needs is for his teammates to cast intimidating shout now and again. Stick to the plan, chums.

  2. Not sure if this was Ender’s thought process, but a runner on 3rd may break in that situation to draw a throw and stay out of a double play. It wasn’t really a double play ball, but it wouldn’t matter if he was running on contact.

  3. True, Rusty. Perhaps he was running on contact. It didn’t look good, but hey, it probably wasn’t dumb.

  4. 2 blowout losses in 4 games is no fun at all, but we’re still 7-6 in August. Watching a bunch of young pitchers may get a little tiring after a couple months of this.

    Julio, come quickly.

  5. So I worked all weekend and didn’t see until today this query from Chief Nocahoma:

    ‘How many future MLB stars have hit .262 in AA ball with minimal power? Asking for a friend.’

    Once I used my superior sleuthing skills to deduce that this refered to Dansby Swanson’s .262/.344/.405 line, my interest was piqued. Using a highly scientific method I call ‘looking up the stats of the first four guys that come to mind when I think of good hitting shortstops (except A-Rod, because, c’mon)’ I found the following:

    Derek Jeter: Really freaking good in AA. Blows Swanson out of the water. Is a first ballot HOFer.
    Jimmy Rollins: 273/.336/.404 That’s really similar! Rollins was a bit younger, though.
    Edgar Renteria: .289/.329/.388 That’s a .717 OPS to Swanson’s .750! But Renteria was only 19.
    Barry Larkin: .267/.331/.345 Swanson’s campaign is way better. Larkin was the same age.

    Conclusion: let’s not give up on Dansby just yet.

  6. @6, lol, no answer could’ve changed your conclusion. Bully for Bledsoe answering a rhetorical question though.

    @1, I get it! I missed the .3 repeating (of course) reference in the last thread

  7. @6

    Well in fairness, most of those guys are top ten shortstops of all time (Larkin and Jeter) If Swanson becomes Rollins or Renteria, that would be amazing. Those two aren’t HOFers, but they were very good/great players for a long time.

  8. If Swanson becomes 90% of Rollins, then we will have a 10 year occasional All Star at short – and you will take that every day of the week.

  9. Cold water patrol here. A few threads ago somebody poked fun at the Strasburger–ordinarily a worthy enterprise!–in a really tasteless way. Let’s please keep up our language standards on this board.

  10. In re: Swanson – it’s a little bit of a bummer to see him hit like a mortal (.750 OPS) at AA after dominating at lower levels, but it was unrealistic to expect him to turn into a cleanup hitter type anyway… most likely, he’ll fall in the .700 – .800 OPS range with good defense, plus base running and All Star clubhouse presence. All in all, that probably adds up to 2 – 5 WAR per season, ie a very valuable (if not franchise cornerstone) type guy, especially during his team-controlled years. BMac might be a good comp in that respect; plays solid defense, hits well for his position, heart and soul of the team.

  11. The juxtaposition of comments 11 and 12 is serendipitous at least, collusion at worst. I demand an investigation.

  12. I’m not worried about Swanson’s performance so much as I’m worried about expectations. They were talking about that on MLB Network actually. This has Andruw Jones written all over it. Dansby Swanson is going to be an excellent major league baseball player, but even Negative Nancy Nocahoma is expecting more out of him. What’s wrong with being an occasional All-Star shortstop with strong leadership? I fear the lack of power in the organization is going to make a casualty of an otherwise fantastic player.

    I do think, though, that Albies will have a higher WAR in 2017 than Swanson. I bet Albies loves what’s going on. He either a) has a chip on his shoulder being the under-hyped of the two or b) is very happy that he can just play quietly.

  13. Counting on SS and 2B to put us into contention has never resonated with me. If these guys turn out to be great then that will be a luxury. If we need them to be great then we might as well start looking for a new front office.

  14. @15

    Agreed. If they’re Omar Vizquel and Robbie Alomar, great, but those teams also had Manny Ramirez and Jim Thome through stretches.

    We had Dan Uggla, Worst Player in Baseball, for a few seasons, and Brooks Conrad cost us a playoff series at 2B. There ain’t nothing wrong with penciling in cheap, above average 2B and SS for the next several years if we can get the pieces around them. People just can’t make them into more than they are.

  15. @14

    Good points. However, the rebuild is being sold like he is going to be a great star, Jeteresq.

    That’s not fair.

  16. The Cubs had to use a challenge last night to get Jason Heyward a hit.

    Robbie Alomar? Sweet Fancy Moses, I hope he’s “only” as good as Roberto Alomar!

  17. @17

    You’re right; that’s not fair, and I sincerely hope the Braves knock it off. Admittedly, they only did it when he arrived in Spring Training for a few days. Most everything else has just been by the prospect people because, well, he’s a really good prospect. The Braves need to make sure they’re not doing their part, and just let the kid play the way they are with Albies.

    My pipe dream for these guys is for them to consistently reproduce Rafael Furcal and Quilvio Veras’ 2000 seasons throughout their 20’s. Two guys with .750-.800 OPS’ with strong defense, strong leadership, and maybe some stolen bases. If they can produce those numbers in today’s offensive environment, those are 5 WAR players with intangibles that don’t show up in the advanced stats.

  18. Marketing a guy in AA, that won’t even play for you this year, is like the definition of poor decision making.

  19. @19, that is easily the first positive mention of Quilvio Veras on this blog in my memory. I actually looked it up and discovered that he was decent for us in his first season after we got him, 2000. I mainly just remembered how horrendous he was in 2001. Turned out that he never played in the major leagues again.

  20. Right. He was terrible afterwards, but the 2000 season would be tremendous in today’s game. It’s like Ben Zobrist over the last 5 years with more speed and less versatility.

  21. I don’t think they really stopped marketing him. Every now and then you get an article with Chipper saying, “Swanson is going to be great. Yee-haw! Let’s shoot a deer!”

  22. @23

    Their problem is they’ve got nothing else to sell (even though they currently don’t even have Swanson to sell, really). What else are they gonna do? Show everyone that ridiculous transportation video again? Yeah, that went over well the first time.

  23. @25 Travis Demeritte is pretty compelling! He has 27 HRs, 54 walks and 147 Ks so far, this year, a Three True Outcome (HR + BB + K / PA) percent of 51.2%, which is truly impressive. For reference, Adam Dunn’s career TTO % was 49.9%. In TTO terms, Demeritte’s season closely tracks the Brewers’ Chris Carter, who is at 27 HRs, 50 walks and 150 Ks.

    I love that the Braves rolled the dice on Demeritte – he may never pan out to much due to issues making contact at the plate, but he’s certainly got upside and represents a rare chance in the Braves org to develop a young power bat.

  24. When Dan Uggla didn’t fall off the planet his last two years, he was a top five second baseman.

  25. A reminder that the park is MS is likely the top 2-3 pitchers park in the entire MILB and that Freeman had a .650 OPS there.

    Also, this place has become pretty dadgum depressing. It will always be my go to, but my word…

  26. On Demeritte: His K% has mostly to do with how hard he swings. However, his patience at the plate is also his plague and I’ve seen reports that suggest his K-rate would go down with better umpires. If I were Demeritte, I’d be smelling blood and looking at this opportunity as to take hold of my future. He’s coming home and he’s gotten out of an org that was abundant with hitters and put into an org that could use some hitters. Time will tell, but this could be a frickin’ steal.

  27. Someone hit on it above but my lukewarm takes on Dansby have much more to do with the Braves marketing of him than anything else.

    @34 Where can you find MILB park effects? A HS classmate of mines son pitches for Midland and I’d like to give his 3.09 ERA context. I’d guess Midland to be a hitters environment but I’d be guessing.

  28. If MS is such a poor park for hitters, we need to be much more bullish on Dustin Peterson.

    A player I’ve compared Dansby with mentally is Chase Utley. They had similar college success and similar builds (6’1″, 190). Course Dansby is a RHB, which we’d prefer anyway and he can play short. WELP, Utley had a mediocre 22 yo season at high A: .257/.324/.422 (.746). Hit 16 HR in 122 games for Clearwater. He skipped AA after that season and started mashing at AAA.

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