Cincinnati 3, Atlanta 2 (10 innings)

perspective: n – a mental view or prospect –

So, in a season in which the Braves had little to no realistic chance of contending, and in which our cornerstone for the future had his wrist broken, one could be forgiven if one took last night’s squandered opportunity for a win hard. But, here’s where perspective comes in to save the day.

Mike Foltynewicz was a stud. I once wrote that if I squinted hard I could kind of see Noah Syndegaard when looking at Folty. Well, last night no squinting was required. Foltynewicz went seven innings of two hit shutout ball, tossing in 10 strikeouts against a mere two walks. Five of those Ks were of the caught looking variety, so I would suggest that Folty’s stuff was even filthier than it appears from the box score, and/or he and Tyler Flowers were deep inside the heads of the Cincy hitters.

Unfortunately, the bullpen blew it – specifically Jim Johnson. Johnson allowed a run scoring double to Eugenio Saurez in the ninth, and then wild pitched him home. Jose Ramirez completed the gag job by allowing Devin Mesaraco to walk it off in the bottom of the 10th with a solo homer. But, since we all expected this season to be a string of short term pains, last night’s performance by our starter offered more than a glimpse of a better future. It may have been a signal that the future is closer than we think. Perspective.

51 thoughts on “Cincinnati 3, Atlanta 2 (10 innings)”

  1. By the way, as far as I’m concerned, reaction to last night’s loss is a very good barometer for the degree of “Stockholm syndrome,” for lack of a better term (and I’m sure there is a better term), you have over the rebuild. If you weren’t pissed off…if you found yourself more excited by the fact that Folty had a good outing and Dansby played well than upset about the incompetent loss featuring a catcher giving no effort on a ball in the dirt when effort could’ve saved the game, then the front office has you right where they want you.

  2. Well said, Painter, thanks. Perspective indeed.

    Impressions of being at GABP last night are at the end of the previous thread. Today’s game is on FoxS1 at 4pm. If you’d like a prequel the main Fox channel, at 2.30, is showing the European Champions League final between Real Madrid and Juventus.

    Baseball savants – krussel has hit the proverbial nail on the head! See previous.

  3. @2 blazon, I will watch the CL final. I really hope for an upset here but I think Real is too strong.

  4. If Albies doesn’t have a big second half, and plays the rest of the season with a sub 700 OPS, do the Braves have him repeat Triple A? And does Demeritte go to Triple A as well?

  5. I don’t think the fans who are trying to find encouragement in losing are generally the gullible victims of management’s propaganda. I was disgusted by the loss after watching a pretty good game for 8 innings. At the same time, I’m glad Dansby had a good game and I’m encouraged that Folty is looking like a #2-3 starter. Ambivalence is the natural state of a realist. I would argue that those seething with rage after every loss are the ones who’ve deluded themselves into thinking management owes them something and has, as a result, betrayed some sort of trust that doesn’t exist.

  6. It doesn’t really matter how much we win this year. As long as 80% of the pitching prospects are moving forward at a quick rate, position player prospects are moving forward, and Teheran/Folty/Freeman/Swanson/Rio/Inciarte don’t take a step back, then that’s about all you could hope for. I think Phillips/Johnson/3 SPs all playing well to up the win total a little bit and getting us some extra prospects is fairly insignificant in the grand scheme. It’s kinda comical to hear Grant McAuley’s and Chop Cast’s podcasts talk about where we are in the standings. When has that mattered?

  7. @5

    Adonis made good contact last night, went 2 for 4 and his first hit got our first run started. He also made 4 ground ball plays without fault. I think it would be a mistake to assume a platoon situation will automatically happen here – one has to earn it/the other lose it.

  8. 9 — This team is building for the future. Garcia is a 32 year old who is what he is.

  9. A somewhat jaundiced view…

    Please lock him away
    and don’t allow the day
    here inside
    where we hide
    from his awfulness
    I don’t care what they say
    he can’t stay in our world without Jace

    so we wait and in a while
    happy faces start to smile
    he may go, we know not where
    he lifts the veil from our despair

    he may come, I know not when
    When he does we lose
    So baby until then

    Lock him away
    And don’t allow the day
    Here inside where we hide
    from his awfulness

    I don’t care what’s the case
    we can live in a world without Jace.

  10. Thanks, Seat Painter. Some perspective on perspective is just what I needed.

    The manner of last night’s loss was beyond frustrating. At the same time, there is reason to be encouraged about many of the players who will be the future of this franchise. It takes perspective (and some degree of maturity) to hold both emotions at the same time.

    That kind of perspective and taking the long view is why baseball is still my favorite sport. As Earl Weaver said, “This ain’t football; we play every day.” Bobby Cox was a great manager in large part because he understood that no one win or loss is crucial (at least not in early June!)

    I could also add that I’ve been a Braves fan since before they came to Atlanta. I suffered through the late 70’s and the late 80’s. Sometimes you have to take your hope where you can find it.

  11. @7

    For the record, I’m not seething with rage after every loss. I was more darkly amused by Tuesday night’s defensive display than upset, for instance. But last night was just so ridiculous, there has to be a limit to what’s OK, even for a team that’s not contending.

    And losses like last night also make me wonder how long the current state of affairs will be deemed OK. Because I’m beyond sick of it.

  12. Eight Florida Fire Frogs making the FSL All-Star Game was the most important thing that happened to the Braves organization this week. Ranking second is Snitker’s decision to play a 32-year-old who is likely past his peak ahead of a 23-year-old who is still developing and needs ABs.

  13. I need some more of that perspective. I’m outraged that Garcia is starting at 3B again today. I know I shouldn’t care so much about that, but this makes no sense whatsoever.

  14. @16 why outraged? Braves aren’t really competing this year, it makes all the sense in the world to see if Garcia can get hot at the plate like 2nd half last season and pump up his (minimal) trade value somewhat. Rio is a mediocre prospect who certainly hasn’t played well enough to guarantee a starting role or platoon role (as a lefty he’d get the lions share of the starts) when weighed against the Braves’ interests in positioning Garcia for sale.

  15. I guess I can’t imagine that Garcia has any trade value. A bad pitcher who has a few good starts may get you a midlevel prospect (see Norris, Harrell last year), but would anyone give anything for Adonis? His OPS right now is barely better than Swanson, and we’ve all agreed that Dansby is having a miserable season. (Where folks disagree is whether Dansby is really not very good, or whether he’ll overcome these struggles, make adjustments, and turn out to be pretty good.)

    I know that Ruiz may not turn out to be a major league regular, but there is a chance that he might. He is just 23. The only way to know is for him to get regular ABs.

  16. Or they could be pathologically committed to increasing trade value in the spare parts and so Garcia plays to increase his stock.

  17. Is there some reason Brian Snitker brought in right-handed Jason Motte to face Joey Votto? I swear to God, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say this team is trying to lose.

  18. Barring a miracle, you only have Snitker to kick around for four more months. Nothing more than a placeholder.

  19. Dickey and Colon are equally putrid. I would take a pitching machine for one and a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine for the other. And any arrangement of their two surnames in immediate juxtaposition sounds borderline obscene.

  20. I doubt Ruiz will ever be an average third baseman, but that is at least his theoretical ceiling. Even so, he’s better than Garcia is right now. I’m with whoever said it’s hard to fathom Garcia having trade value. Then again, Coppy has spun so many cruddy players into C prospects that I wouldn’t put it past him. He found someone to take Callaspo and squeezed Demerrite out of a stone.

  21. The dilemma of which bad player should play 3B is a tough one. When in doubt, play the kid. Whatever prospect Garcia turns into will very likely be a lot worse than Ruiz.

    Being both bad and also one of the oldest teams in either league is beyond frustrating. We should start to see changes this month. I think.

  22. Dickey now has 34 walks and 32 Ks to go along with 12 home runs. The DIPs God is smiling on him, because his 5ish ERA should be even worse.

  23. Just don’t understand why O’Flaherty was resigned this season and is still on the team. He’s the Bonifacio of the pitching staff.

  24. I’m OK with being an old team. We were never going to contend this year, and it’s probably the last year we can really have a fire sale. It could be epic. Kemp and Jaime Garcia could really bring in a haul if they continue their success, and Markakis and Flowers could fetch something of value. It’s a little surprising how bad Dickey and Colon have been–I thought at least one would become a trade chip.

  25. See, I think trading Kemp would be a bad idea, unless you’re also punting next season, which is a very bad idea from an attendance and fan engagement perspective.

  26. @35

    We already screwed up to get it back in the sixth. Eventually, they’re gonna score if we don’t.

  27. I see where you’re coming from, Nick, and I partially agree. Kemp’s bat is once again elite, and would be impossible to replace. On the other hand, I’m worried his success is fleeting. Weight struggles are chronic. Motivation is ephemeral. His contract, while currently a great bargain can be an albatross again if he regresses. We may have a unique opportunity to trade Kemp for an elite prospect this season. We also have at least some outfield talent to replace him with in Acuna and Peterson.

    I’d need to see the package, but it would be hard to pass up a strong offer.

  28. I bet Adams could also play left-field poorly. If you have a good plan for the money, it could speed up the rebuild.

  29. @39

    Yeah, I see where you’re coming from, too. But I’m so sick of this crap that, to be honest, if I have your opportunity, I’d very seriously consider just keeping Kemp and not punting next year…unless the prospect is already in Double-A or Triple-A. We just can’t keep doing this forever. There’s not an infinite number of years on this. If we get to a point where we can’t draw fans to the new stadium because the team is so continually bad, we’re royally screwed unless we get new ownership or the current ownership decides to actually throw money into this thing.

    ADAMS AGAIN!!!! NICE!!! Now, who the hell are we pitching in the bottom half of the inning?

    EDIT: If they have a better plan than Kemp for the money, Z, that changes things. It’s gonna have to be a pretty good plan, though.

  30. It’s hard for me to see how the Braves are going to be substantially better before ’19.

  31. @44

    It’s true. This team would be in substantial playoff contention right now if not for the fact that they don’t have one starting pitcher with even some small sense of dependability.

  32. 43 — RF. He’s not moving Inciarte out of CF. I suspect the Braves will deal Markakis either this offseason or during the season next year to make room.

  33. @44, 45 – I won’t argue that we could hardly do worse than Colon and Dickey, and I expect that we will eventually have a very good rotation. I see a lot of growing pains on our plate for ’18 though. Meanwhile, Kemp, Markakis, Flowers/Suzuki continue to age out.

  34. What if Sims and Newcomb pitch well this year after their call ups? It’s gonna be so tempting to spend money on a pitcher, keep Kemp, and consider rushing one or both of Acuna and Allard (the latter being less likely).

    If the pitching doesn’t progress then Coppy is gonna feel heat and I expect a bunch of crazy moves will start flying.

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