Braves 5, Mets 4

Julio Teheran did not have his best stuff, but he made what he did have count. An RBI double to Asdrubal Cabrera in the 3rd was all the damage the Mets could muster against him. He only recorded one strikeout on the night, but he also only allowed five hits. He retired 15 of his last 16 batters and put his team in an excellent position to win.

For the first five innings the Braves offense could get nothing going to help out their pitcher. Then a mini offensive explosion in the 6th and 7th reversed the tide and gave the team just enough runs to win.

Inciarte and Garcia singled with one out in the 6th, and Freddie walked to load the bases. Kemp followed with an RBI blooper to center field, which the Mets defenders conveniently watched drop between them. Markakis then coaxed a bases loaded walk for the second run of the game, but that was all the Braves could muster that inning.

Even though they had a one-run lead, the Braves offense did not go into hibernation mode. Swanson led off the 7th with a base hit, and Inciarte followed a Teheran strikeout with another base hit of his own. Garcia then hit a no-doubter into the left center field stands to put the Braves up 5-1.

The Braves ended up needing every one of those runs, when Jose Ramirez relieved Teheran in the 8th and had to be relieved himself after giving up two runs and only recording two outs. His third run came around to score after he left the game, but the Mets comeback stopped there, and the Braves eked out the 5-4 win.

Of note on the evening, Freddie’s on-base streak has now reached 40 games, and his hitting streak now stands at 24. Kemp’s 6th inning RBI puts him at 100 RBI for the season. He’s done a lot better in a Braves uniform this season than I originally expected him to.

This offensive wave the Braves have been on recently has been fun to watch. As wretched as this season has been, it has had its enjoyable moments that have saved it from being a total loss, and a win like this against the Mets on my birthday goes a long way in my book toward redeeming the season as a whole. I have an almost affectionate opinion of this team at the moment.

Let’s keep playing spoiler. It’s kind of fun.

72 thoughts on “Braves 5, Mets 4”

  1. @Rob C from last thread

    Within the organization, I think there’s 20 roster spots that should be filled from within with Minter and Albies being 2 of those. D’arnaud isn’t really an option, IMO. Rather he’s a guy that a team stashes at AAA and recalls when they need an all-purpose fill-in.

    Also, I’d give the starting nod to Mallex in either LF or CF depending upon whether it’s wiser to move Kemp to RF or move Ender to RF. IMO, I’d like Kemp in LF, Mallex in CF, Ender in RF. Mallex has shown both offensively and defensively that he’s ready for the MLB. It’s just a matter of letting him learn the other aspects of his game (baserunning, when to bunt, etc.) at the big league level. He’s a 2-3 WAR player if he plays full-time next year, in my opinion.

  2. Here are my internal solutions:
    SP: Teheran, Folty, Wisler, Newcomb
    RP: Vizzy, Minter, Mauricio, Krol, Simmons, Winkler

    1B- FF5
    2B- Albies (when he’s able)
    SS- Dansby
    LF-Kemp
    CF-Mallex
    RF- Ender
    Bench- Adonis, Jace, Flowers

    Missing:

    Open- 1 SP, 1 RP, starting 3B, starting C, 2 bench spots
    Wishlist: Rich Hill (on a 2-year contract), Prado, Wilson Ramos (keep teetering back and forth on him, but I’m back on the train for now), KJ, Frenchy, JJ

    If Heyman’s numbers are fairly accurate, Ramos will get 17MM/year, Hill 16MM/year, Prado 11MM/year. From there, it’s likely 2-3MM/year for rest. It’d be close, but trading Markakis makes this doable.

    Does that give us a team that can make the playoffs?

  3. No, it doesn’t. But it gives us a team that can prevent us from offering/absorbing contracts from better players when they become available.

  4. Thank you for the recap, Birthday Girl. Keep having them, please.

    Isn’t it good that the Braves are not run as a democracy? We’d riot in Cobb County. In some enterprises, every vote should not count, especially mine. More often than not, my heart misleads my head when it comes to the Braves.

    Also, it’s been a while since Braves Journal has sprouted verse. Where have all the poets gone?

  5. @6, 7 – I don’t think that gives us a playoff team unless Teheran and 2 to 3 of the following have really good years (> 180 IPs, sub 3.50 ERA):
    Folty, Wisler, Whalen, Newcomb, Weigel, Gant, Jenkins

    I think our lineup can be in the top 1/2 of the NL. We need starting pitching in the top 1/4 of the league to be a playoff team.

  6. I think the lineup that I presented could all produce at least a 2 WAR. Early predictions:
    Ender- 3.5 WAR
    Albies- 2 WAR
    Swanson- 2.5 WAR
    Freeman- 5 WAR
    Kemp- 2 WAR
    Ramos- 3 WAR
    Prado- 2.5 WAR
    Mallex- 2 WAR

    That’s nearly 20 Wins Above Replacement from the lineup without getting into backups. Bullpen could push 10, Starting Pitching 10, Bench 2, maybe 3. I’m optimistic, as per usual.

  7. The current lineup has been one of the best in the league for the last month and a half. I think there’s reason to be optimistic, especially if we can improve at C. We need to get the pitching in better shape. It will be interesting to see what starters they target.

  8. If we could produce that roster, then you’d have a hard time convincing me that we couldn’t beat what the Nats are throwing out these days. They’ve got 3 regulars with a sub-700 OPS (and would be losing Ramos in this hypothetical), and we’d have a much deeper lineup. Their 1-2 are certainly better than anything we would ever throw out, and it will only get worse if Giolito develops, but we’ve got them beat in the ‘pen. Considering the heavy payroll allocated to Werth and Zimmerman and Harper’s impending free agency, Ramos being gone may be a foregone conclusion. It will be Harper, Murphy, Turner, and not much else. They have nothing at 1st, CF, and SS, and Werth is moving in the wrong direction.

    Point of caution with Ramos:

    1st Half – .330/.382/.536/.918
    2nd Half – .269/.311/.431/.743

    @9

    I don’t think you need 3 of your young pitchers to produce top 50 in WAR seasons, which is about what 180+ IP, sub-3.50 ERA is nowadays. Once you get into the top 40-60 tier of pitching WAR, you can find those pitchers on the FA market for the price the Braves are willing to pay.

  9. By the way, since the earlier trades, what prospects have not appreciated since they were acquired? I count Wes Parsons, Zach Bird, and Andrew Thurman as the only three players we’ve acquired in trades that haven’t increased in value.

  10. Rich Hill’s medical history has single-handedly financed entire hospitals. He turns 37 in March, he’s pitched 12 years in the big leagues, and this is just the fourth time that he’s thrown as many as 40 innings in a year — and the first time since 2009. The odds of him remaining healthy on a contract of literally any length are not high.

    Congratulations, ‘Rissa!

  11. The Bud Norris’es are our game. If Bud had pitched an entire season for us, he’d have been a top 60-75 WAR pitcher. If our scouting and McDowell are as good as the state media says, we shouldn’t have any problems getting another one of these guys. If we could get two, then we’d be really in business.

  12. My real choice for SPs would be letting the young ones work it out and go with Teheran, Folty, Wisler, Newcomb, and maybe a guy like Buchholz, or trade for a frontline starter.

    I’ll admit that my interest in Rich Hill was reactionary to the conversation at-hand and I’m already souring on it. This happens from time to time. It’s a battle.

  13. If Braves fielded a team discussed @6, they’d have a plus defender at every position except left field and 1b (and the 1b metrics are debatable0. Right now, they don’t have a plus defender at 2nd, 3rd, LF, 1b, or RF. ERAs will naturally be lower.

  14. Id still put money on Adonis being our 3B next year after his strong 2nd half.

    .298/.344/.482 119wRC+ after the break (making league minimum)

  15. Braves position players are 3rd in NL fWAR behind Cubs and Dodgers for the 2nd half. A few tweeks, and I’m tellin’ ya this is a good team.

  16. Adonis is found money; anything we get from him is gravy, but here’s what we know about him.

    Birthday: April 12, 1985 (he’ll be 32 in April)
    Minors: 305 games, 1274 PA, .290/.330/.424, 4.7 BB%, 12.8 BB%
    Majors: 183 games, 723 PA, .274/.309/.438, 4.0 BB%, 16.9 BB%

    He’s capable of posting a .750 OPS at the big league level, with okay power and not great, not awful defense. He’s your classic below-average but above-replacement player, and as long as he’s dirt cheap, that’s an asset. But the second a better option or even just a hot hand comes along, you have to be willing to yank him out of the lineup. And that better option could be anything from Ozzie Albies to Jace Peterson to Rio Ruiz to Chase D’Arnaud to Evan Longoria. After nearly 2000 professional plate appearances and nearly 32 years on Earth, Garcia will never be better than he is right now, and he is soon to be worse.

  17. Not saying it shouldn’t frighten you. I don’t see the Braves committing 3-4 years to Prado. I could be wrong, but barring a trade he’s at 3rd until Rio improves.

    I understand why Snitker is putting his best lineup out there every night but Id like to see Rio and Mallex playing some down the stretch.

  18. Flowers has a .398 OPB in the 2nd half. You guys really want to commit 10’s of millions to a catcher that probably won’t be tons better offensively? We need pitching and a corner OF.

  19. Braves have had the league’s worst catching (and 3B and 2B) this season – but the 4th best OF production. I think it’s reasonable to look for alternatives at catcher and 3B, with Albies as a (potential) upgrade at 2B. I’m still doubtful Ramos is realistic or the best use of resources.

  20. I like Flowers, but before this year his highest BA in a season was .241 and his OPS is .684 over his 8 year career (aided greatly by his .773 OPS career year this year). He has thrown out 2 of 57 runners this year for a whopping 3% CS rate.

    I’m great with keeping him as a backup, but do you really think he’ll stay the same offensively or improve his .267 BA and .773 OPS beginning at age 31? Even if he does, do we want an everyday catcher who throws out 3% of runners trying to steal?

  21. I’m not sure they should be committing 3+ years to anyone, unless they see a lot of excess value. This is a last-place team with a ton of talent in A-ball. I vote to be patient.

  22. I’ll warn all here of both of our catchers crazy high BABIPs. The last time the Braves took that information as a true representation of skill was when they awarded Chris Johnson with an extension.

  23. The best use of both Jace and Adonis would be either to trade them or use them a bench bats. If better players take their spots, the bench would be my choice.

  24. Also, A-ball is a long way away and many things can go wrong before Austin Riley is ready to take over 3rd base. If a solution presents itself for 3b and it’s reasonable, Braves should pounce, Riley’s future or Adonis’s team control be damned.

  25. Happy birthday, ‘Rissa & thanks for the happy recap.

    Went to the game last night and, as always, it’s terrific to hear a quiet murmuring as the exiting crowd heads toward the 7 train & LIRR.

  26. Waiting on Austin Riley, who may not even be Wes Helms, is stupid. But we don’t just have Riley. We also have Demeritte and Maitan. I’m wary of committing to 4-6 years to a guy on the wrong side of 30 just because we want to be 1 WAR better at the position in 2017. We’re still lots of pitching short of contending.

  27. According to baseball reference, Kemp has been +1.1 oWAR and -1.5 dWAR, which sums to -0.2 WAR overall. As bad as he’s been in the field the last 2 seasons, he has been even worse over his 46 game sample with the Braves. It puts him on pace for about -5.0 dWAR.

    As long as he keeps hitting (.847 OPS for us) and we keep hitting as a team, we can overlook his horrid defense.

  28. Does an elite centerfielder’s range affect the advanced defensive numbers of a corner outfielder? I’m sure putouts factor into it at some point, so would a centerfielder getting more of them affect the numbers?

  29. For UZR, it doesn’t affect the corner OF:

    “The LF’er, even though he typically catches that same ball 10% of the time, gets no demerits for not making the play. In UZR, when a ball is caught and turned into an out by one fielder, no other fielder gets docked any runs. This helps to minimize the effects of “ball-hogging.” If we didn’t do this, for example, on teams where the CF’er liked to take charge of just about every lazy fly ball hit into the gaps, the LF’er and RF’er would end up being penalized for balls that they could have easily fielded.”

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/the-fangraphs-uzr-primer/

  30. And as long as Snitker’s record is mentioned in the same breath as his retention, you won’t see much of Mallex and Rio. This is playoff baseball for Snit with about $1,000,000+ in income and a well-deserved retirement on the line. I’m trying for the fella.

  31. It also doesn’t affect DRS:

    “How do you handle the “ball-hogging problem”, where one fielder makes a play that another fielder could have also made?

    -A play made by one fielder never counts against any other fielder. We remove those plays from the denominator. For example, say there are 100 balls hit into a certain “bucket” (balls with the same trajectory, location, velocity, etc.). Suppose the left fielder handles 40 of them, the center fielder handles 50 of them, and 10 fall for hits. It’s obviously a pretty easy play for both fielders, since it rarely fell for a hit. The difficulty level of the play (which we call the “Ratio”) for the center fielder is 50/(100-40) = .83; for the left fielder, it’s 40/(100-50) = .80. ”

    http://fieldingbible.com/Fielding-Bible-FAQ.asp

    *PS: What you should take away from this is that a good CF never hurts the defensive rating of the corner OF, but it may well help him (by reducing the number of plays he gets penalized for not making). If anything, playing beside Inciarte should be helping Kemp’s putrid rating.

  32. @44 I think the FO really wants to avoid 100 losses too. Once/ if we get win 63 you may see Mallex or Rio more.

  33. @25, I don’t know what we’ll do with them. I think I want a better player there than either of them are or will be, but it’s not a bigger need than pitching. Markakis has near-zero trade value. Mallex has some, I think, but him missing a lot of the season has hurt. I think I’m ok with the status quo offensively if we can get Albies healed up. I don’t see how we can have a winning team without at least one really good starter added.

  34. Kemp does need to improve his defense, but I don’t really care much about LF defense.

    We are what .500 since he got here? I don’t think that is a coincidence. He give protection to Freeman and increases the number of pitches he can hit. Is that measured in Kemp’s WAR?

  35. No, but if it were real, you might measure it in Freddie’s WAR or just look at Freddie’s pitch data whenever Kemp is hitting behind him.

  36. @49, there are external effects of his presence in the lineup not measured in his personal oWAR. There are also effects of his not making plays in left field that are not measured in his dWAR. For example, if it causes a starter to labor, leading to a big inning, a loss of confidence, an overuse of the bullpen, use of less effective relievers. But LOL who cares about those, we have a narrative to hammer home!

    Also, we were roughly .500 in the 40 games before Kemp got here and roughly .500 since.

  37. Our old commenter JC Bradbury would tell you that protection is a myth. There’s no question that the team is hitting better since Kemp came here, but I am reluctant to chalk that up to a single magical man, beyond the undeniable fact that he’s a better hitter than the men he’s supplanted in the lineup.

  38. Most pitching WAR in the second half? Why, that’d be Mike Foltynewicz (tied with Julio). Yep, you didn’t see that coming.

  39. the undeniable fact that he’s a better hitter than the men he’s supplanted in the lineup.

    There’s that, then there’s the slide he creates downward in the lineup. Markakis doesn’t have to be a cleanup hitter, Flowers and Peterson slides down, and Swanson can stay in the 8-hole, which is a great spot for him to collect some more walks, pad his stats, and make him more confident. Plus, you can now go L/R/L/R/L/R/L/R in the lineup, which has made things gel. Last night, lefty Blevins came in to pitch to lefty Inciarte and hopefully lefty Freeman. But when Inciarte reached, Blevins had to face the righty Garcia, who launched one into the seats. There was a point where it was, IIRC, Inciarte, Mallex, Freeman, Markakis. L/L/L/L. This obviously isn’t just Kemp, but his presence definitely moved things around.

  40. The fallacy of assuming the team’s improvement that occurred after Matt Kemp’s acquisition is because of Matt Kemp’s acquisition is called the “post hog, ergo propter hog” fallacy.

  41. We’re not playing AJP. We’re not playing Aybar. We’re not playing Francouer. We’re not playing Beckham. We’re not playing D’Arnaud. Etc. Etc. I think that alone has a big positive effect on run creation, with or without Kemp. Kemp has been pretty good so far though. Better than I thought he’d be.

  42. I’d have thought “post hog” would’ve referred strictly to logical fallacies dating past the firing of Fredi.

  43. Oh man. That was fun. It’s a shame we can’t take this position squad to the playoffs because we’ve taken much worse position player teams. What a catch. That could be historical. Mets might be talking about that for years.

  44. That game is one I won’t forget. First of all, Colon was great–a treat to watch, even if it’s against our boys. Recker had a great game. Freddie, Dans and Kemp all did their piece. Krol came up big. Ender for Commissioner….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *