Braves 14, Phillies 1

Hey, not bad!

Mike Foltynewicz continues to be the most valuable pitcher (squeeking out Jaime Garcia by .1 WAR), throwing 7 strong innings, no runs, two walks, four hits, and four strikeouts. His last 2 starts have produced 14 innings and zero earned runs. This is the Folty we all love to see.

Offense broke out of its mini-slump with 14 runs on 12 hits and 6 walks, with one big hit being a three-run homer by Dansby Swanson, who also added two more base hits. One came on a funky play that involved a hard grounder off the pitcher and an acrobatic elusion of the first baseman. With a little power lately, he’s inching over that .600 OPS after a terrible start (and two subsequent slumps). Markakis also had three hits, and Ruiz had 2 walks, but the hits aren’t quite falling. At least he’s not Adonis Garcia. Inciarte contributed two hits of his own, and Big City added another home run. The offense really poured it on in the later innings as 10 of the runs came in the 7th and 8th.

When the game was still slightly in doubt, Jose Ramirez pitched a scoreless inning, and in mop up duty, Luke Jackson gave up a run in the 9th.

On Saturday, for just one day, we will have 4 starting pitchers aged 26 or younger. And on that one day, we will have 15 players on the roster that are 28 or younger. A youth movement could be coming.

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65 thoughts on “Braves 14, Phillies 1”

  1. Thanks Rob. Please give your stenographer our thanks for such a speedy turnaround. Brax would approve.

    Did you feel Folty started to look tired in the 6th? Control wavered,despite his very low pitch count? Great outing though.

  2. Blazon i thought so as well. He looked like he was really struggling to keep it together.
    But he did! And that is big for this young man. He needs to learn to fight off his emotions and just play the game.

  3. Today’s pitcher.

    Ben Lively
    it is said he throws blithely
    we will respond in kind
    hitting only when we feel so inclined.

  4. @4
    Yes, and there was an instance when he smiled mid game, such panache!

    ..and, much earlier, when he blind lucked fielded a rocket hit straight back at him, he faced the CF camera and mouthed one word, twice…lip readers?
    It’s great to have fun and be so positive about an outing like that, good for him.

    @3
    Those three words instantly pull up memories of a fine pitching performance, a terrible throw by Chipper that wasted it, a crazy umpire. I haven’t read his book but hear that Chipper starts it, not with some heroic moment but with that play. Greatly to his credit then.

  5. Catching up on a couple of threads here…I don’t think Keith Law has ever been definitive in saying Newcomb won’t ever have good/adequate control. What he’s said for at least a couple of years now is that it’s a clean throwing motion, and there’s nothing mechanically wrong, so Law isn’t sure why he has such trouble with control and where the area of improvement is.

  6. Don’t recall hearing anything either way. I know I would have heard if he had questionable makeup.

  7. That’s right Stu, but I was certain that Law said that because there isn’t a mechanical adjustment he can make, the control problems were not likely to be fixed. He seemed to specifically say this is why he didn’t rate him higher. Or maybe I just inferred it.

  8. If I’d told you that after 57 games, we’d be tied with the Mets for second place and 1 game behind the Cardinals in the wild card race….

  9. @12 – I think you are pretty close with your Newcomb prediction. Unfortunately the Mets are 8th in baseball in walks per 9. I will be surprised if Newk makes it through 6.

  10. 11—You’re generally right there regarding likelihood and resultant rating. I was just quibbling with the claim that he said with any certainty that it couldn’t be fixed. More of an “I don’t see how it can be fixed” than an “It cannot be fixed.” Those are two very different statements to me, but then again, I’m a weirdo…

  11. So far so good by Dickey tonight. More importantly for the future of the franchise, Weigel, Gohara, and Wentz are each pitching very well so far tonight.

  12. 5 of Weigel’s 6 AAA starts have gone pretty well, and 2 of his last 3 have been dominant. It was his second start where he gave up 8 ER in 1 IP that has heavily skewed his overall stats. You could make an argument that if you take that start out, Weigel’s periphs are much more in line than Newcomb’s. If Weigel continue to pitch like this, I think you’ll start seeing him being mentioned with Sims and Newcomb as being ready for the bigs.

    Same with Caleb Dirks and Jesse Biddle. Dirks in particular has a 10.6 K/9 and a 1.11 WHIP at AAA. Biddle has shaken the rust off, and in his last 10 outings, he’s had a 10.2 K/9, 1.17 WHIP, and a 2.29 ERA. These two relievers are put together a string of success that could force the Braves’ hand with some of their relievers. July, August, and September should be some really exciting months for Braves fans, and if they have a really good second half, that could cause the FO to add some talent and really go for it in 2018.

  13. When I wrote the previous post, Wenz was perfect through 3. He blew up in the 4th. But Weigel and Gohara are both still sharp.
    Dickey is obviously sharp. I’m not able to watch on tv. Is the difference that he’s throwing strikes?

  14. Ball is starting in the zone and then moving all over the place. Everything is staying down it seems.

  15. I don’t care what Dickey’s FIP is, he’s been mediocre, he’ll continue to be mediocre, and that’s what we’re paying him to be. He’s just fine. On the aggregate, these pitchers have given us what we expected. It’s just that one has been better than expected (Garcia), and one has been worse (Colon). But this is about what we should have expected.

  16. You probably noticed, but Ender’s a pretty good centerfielder.

    Great game. Bring on the mutts.

  17. The top six hitters in the lineup tonight are all sporting a .300 BA if you count Big City’s time with the Braves and Nick Markakis’.288 so I can round up. I’d say that’s pretty good for June 10.

  18. @24, I just noticed his paltry 6 homeruns. What a total sack. Real players would have at least 7-8 homers by now with maybe 20 runs given away on defense, which don’t count…if you’re smart. If you’re smart they don’t count.

  19. RA Dickey – The Director’s Cut

    We may have a budding Fellini in the Braves TV Production crew.There was that moment when RAD had clearly finished up after his seven innings last night and when coverage resumed for the top of the 8th. The shot chosen to open was of Dickey in the dugout talking in animated fashion to a teammate on either side. It was intense which was interesting. It was perfectly obvious he was angry with himself. What made it more so was the length of time the producer chose to linger on a close up of his face while he continued his rant.

    So what was he on about? He had just finished an excellent outing, something a cut above what he had shown us before. Including, most tellingly, no walks. He had been ranting all week about his walks, angry with himself. Clearly what had just happened was cathartic for him.

    I’d like to think the TV crew recognized that, played on it. A special moment, real insight. No walks, why couldn’t I have done this before June – he was passionate. Nice to know.

  20. DJ @7

    yes!

    oldtimer? @4

    have to ask…why the question mark i wondered? Are you uncertain as to whether you qualify for this appendage? Us old farts are in no doubt – just check how many teeth you’ve got.
    Best, cheers.

  21. @28

    Yes, you’re right about that. But it was a trio, wasn’t it, with him in the middle and repeatedly turning from one to the other as he vented. Did you have a different interpretation of what was animating him?

    La Strada – and now car chases, gore and special effects, yuk. Not that Gore.

  22. Blazon @29
    Ha. When I made the account many years ago I was probably in my early 30’s but had been following the braves since I was 7 years old back to the Joe Torre years. Compared to a lot of the gang on the board I felt like a seasoned, grizzled old Braves veteran.
    Watching Braves Baseball at 5:35 after soccer practice everyday seems like a lifetime ago.

  23. blazon,

    The other person was Chuck Hernández, the pitching coach. I just figured they were talking shop, no animus detected. Dickey’s knuckleball stayed up in the seventh inning, so maybe he was venting about that?

  24. There is apparently an embargo
    on Camargo
    I feel such a twit
    Said Snit
    but what’s writ ‘neath his eyes
    has given me a nasty surprise.

  25. Remy

    Animus in the passionate sense, i shouldn’t have used the word anger perhaps.Your memory for faces beats mine, thanks.

    But what fun how we differ…getting the ball up at the end would certainly not have pleased him…i went for walks because i heard/read something midweek quoting his frustration on the subject.

  26. Great start from Dickey last night! He finally had his knuckler diving down with regularity, and did a good job of mixing in some fastballs (and a changeup or two). I doubt any contending team would really be interested in trading for Dickey, which means we’ve got another ~20 Braves starts of his to look forward to. Hopefully he does a respectable job eating innings for the rest of the season, and then he can ride off into the sunset.

    Though the Braves are 2nd (hah!) in the NL East and are trying to keep up attendance numbers at STP, I really hope Coppy has the stones to continue to trade the Braves’ non core win-now assets for prospects this year. At this stage, the die has already been cast on whether the Braves’ rebuild is going to result in a competitive 2018 team: it’s going to depend upon whether they can get decent contributions from the upper-minors prospects like Albies, Sims, Newk, Weigel, Peterson, Demeritte and Acuna and the now-graduated guys like Folty (increasingly looking like a #2 starter), Rio and Camargo. One last concerted push to put more talent in the pipeline now increases the chances that the rebuild is fully stocked.

    All that said, it doesn’t look like the stars are aligning for the Braves to make any big trades mid-season…

    Kemp – hitting really well, very popular in Atlanta, owed $21.5M/year through 2019. He’s quite valuable to the Braves and they have nobody remotely ready to replace his bat in the lineup. At the same time, his age, poor defense and big salary means he wouldn’t command much of a return in trade. I doubt he gets traded this year… maybe next season if Acuna/Peterson/PTBN is ready to step in.

    Markakis – the dude plays RF and hits in a home park with a sweet RF power alley, and yet he has only 1 HR. He’s tradeable, but nobody would be excited about acquiring him. If he could pop a few HRs and get his SLG above .400 that would really help.

    Phillips – At first glance he looks like an excellent trade candidate, but I suspect BP has a handshake deal with the Braves that he can veto any trade the Braves try to make including him that he doesn’t like. Plus, Albies is currently on the DL and looks like he still needs some time to conquer AAA.

    Colon – Braves would love to trade him, but likely nobody would be interested in giving up anything of value for him.

    Dickey – Same.

    Garcia – Totally tradeable! And now that Newk and/or Sims are “ready”, the Braves have PR cover for the move as well!

    Flowers – Tradeable, but I suspect Braves will keep him as long as Flowers is willing to play for cheap.

    Relievers – potential trade assets include Proven Closer ™ Jim Johnson, Jose Ramirez, Sam Freeman, Arodys Vizcaino. None are outstanding, all have trade value (likely to be packaged with other assets like, say, Jaime Garcia).

  27. @38 Good question – Garcia + Johnson wouldn’t return a team’s best prospect, but could easily get us back several of a team’s top-10 guys.

    The return depends not only on the perceived value of the players offered, but also on the number of bidders… thankfully, just about every contender would be on the market for a quality LH starter and a late inning reliever. Offhand, I would think the following teams might be a good fit: Astros, Yankees (once some of their SPs fade), Rockies (same), O’s, DBacks, Cubs.

    Crazy stat time: the 2017 Cubs have no full time (6+ starts) SP with a sub-4 ERA. Every pitcher who made more than 1 start for the 2016 Cubs had a sub-4 ERA.

  28. @39, i would think we are at the stage of not wanting a “buncha guys” trades but to acquire specifically targeted needs and talent. In other words, a Garcia and Johnson trade yielding an actual major leaguer (or demonstrably close to it) that would take us to the proverbial “next level”. Or I dunno, maybe we are still in the market for scratch off tickets.

  29. I wouldn’t rule out Colon just yet. It’s only early June. They could stick Colon on a rehab assignment and the bullpen for the month of June, and give him 3-4 starts in July, and if he shows that he’s remotely the pitcher he was just last year, then we’ll get a high minors top-30 prospect for him. Shoot, if Newcomb and Sims still walk the stadium, and you don’t have a clear MLB SP there just yet, might as well go back to Colon even into August to get that next Travis Demeritte, Caleb Dirks, Kade Scivicque or Luis Valenzuela. Shoot, we have time.

    What if you get Medlen up here in late June, and he puts together 5-6 quality starts? As much as he’s become one of my favorite storylines, you have to wonder if a team will give up a high minors top-10 team prospect for him. This season could be so valuable for the next 5-10 years. At this point, we’re probably going to win in the 70’s regardless of who we call up or trade, so why not get as many prospects as you can? If the win total falls into the 60’s but you have a roster of 17-18 young players, I think you can sell that to the STP faithful. Don’t lose 100, flash a ton of young talent, and win 95+ games next year. There’s so much bubbling right now in the high minors that you can be really aggressive.

  30. I’m so sorry to some that may find this annoying (and I recognize it’s early), but it really got me looking at the numbers on what next year looks like financially. This roster here costs $76 million, and I sought to account for arb raises. The point is not to say that this is a contending team by any stretch, but to say that if you subbed out players who are not good enough or too young, you’d have $45-50M to invest in improvements:

    SPs: Teheran, Folty, Newcomb, Weigel, Wisler

    Relievers: Vizcaino, Cabrera, Ramirez, Krol, Minter, Biddle, Dirks, Morris

    Position Players: Flowers, Freeman, Albies, Swanson, Ruiz, Kemp, Inciarte, Acuna

    Bench: Camargo, SRodriguez, Suzuki, DPeterson

    And then add $45-50M to that. I really have to give it to Coppy that the future looks exceptionally bright. I think you need to wash out Wisler, get an ace, and slide everyone down, and you need to upgrade 3B and keep SRodriguez on the bench. And I can only imagine the projections will get even better since the vast majority of the player personnel top to bottom is getting better, not worse.

  31. @40 I’m sure the Braves would love to trade for specific pieces in areas of need to augment the rebuild, but that’s going to place additional limitations on how successful Coppy could potentially be in maximizing one the return on one last group of win-now for win-later talent trades. I’m thinking back on several notable times when the Braves traded away someone good and then took back a replacement player (because we didn’t have anyone suitable in the org) and it turned out badly – see eg, Casey Kotchman, Eric Aybar.

    @41 Agreed, there’s still a chance Colon may rebuild trade value. Every year 2013 – 2016 he threw 30+ starts, 190+ IP and won 14 – 18 games with a respectable ERA. That’s a good track record. I’m certainly not suggesting the Braves give up on him. And barring injury, Medlen will play for Atlanta within a month, opening up more rotation/bullpen configurations as well as trade options. I’ll always have a soft spot for Meds – he has that Maddux-esque killer instinct and has always been a crafty guy with good command. It’s a shame that he hasn’t had a fully healthy season since 2013.

  32. @42

    Enjoyed your list…

    you would package out Adams? What’s he costing as an excellent bench bat and a day off for Freddie?

  33. Rob,

    I think I’m as bullish on the rebuild as you are, but in 2018 they will not remotely be a 95 win team. The starters you list include two guys who haven’t thrown a pitch in the major leagues (Newcomb, Weigel), one who has pretty clearly established that he is not a quality major league starter (Wisler), one who has made great strides this year but is far from proven (Folty) and our current “ace” who has really gone backwards this year.

    I think you are suggesting they could use the extra payroll to buy established pitchers. But Coppy and the FO keep telling us they are not interested in top shelf free agent starting pitchers. They want to build the rotation from within, and I agree. By 2019 and 2020 several of Allard, Soroka, Newcomb, Gohara, or even Anderson or Wilson may become excellent major league starters. I can’t see that by next year.

    As much as I like building a home grown young rotation, it takes patience. Going into 1991, Glavine had 3 plus years in the bigs, Smoltz 2 plus, and Avery a half year. They all put it together that year, especially in the second half. Remember, though, they lost 90 plus in 1990.

  34. As much as I like building a home grown young rotation, it takes patience. Going into 1991, Glavine had 3 plus years in the bigs, Smoltz 2 plus, and Avery a half year. They all put it together that year, especially in the second half. Remember, though, they lost 90 plus in 1990.

    This is kind of my point, though. The Braves could be primed for a huge win improvement in 2018, sort of like 1990-1991. The Cubs went from 73-89 in 2014 to 97-65 in 2015. I’m sure there are other examples as well. If the Braves upgrade SS (through Dansby’s development), 3B, and RF and make incremental improvements to the bench, rotation, and bullpen, then this team becomes top-10 in offense, top-15 in pitching, and top-10 in defense. I think that team can win 90+ games, if not 95+. Shoot, we’d be a .500 team right now if we won half of Bartolo’s blowouts. Talk about low hanging fruit.

    But yes, you need to use the payroll to get an ace, a legitimate closer, and a third power hitter. You can’t pay top of market FA prices, so you’d have to have a buy-low work out, sign a guy at market value, and make a trade to afford those 3. I think there’s an outside shot one of the pitchers you listed (or Folty) becomes a top-15 pitcher, aka an Ace.

    Plus, I’m not sure if anyone has listened to it, and I don’t have the link to it right now, but when Coppy asked if Snit returns next year, he gave a very lukewarm response and then got mad at the interviewer for asking an unfair question. It’s Chuck and Chernoff, if someone wants to Google and post a link. It doesn’t seem Coppy is supremely content with the man on the bench either.

  35. I don’t think we can afford to go out and sign an ace caliber pitcher. Scherzer cost the Nationals a ton of money. Not to mention if a pitcher we signed went bad we would have an albatross of a contract worse than BJ Upton. If we acquire one it will have to be through trade.

    This is why Coppy is drafting so many young pitching prospects — because he knows we can’t afford to go out and buy an ace.

  36. Adding to my last comment, the Braves will likely fill their rotation going forward with Teheran, Folty and 3 homegrown starters. Our best hope is that Newcomb, Allard, Gohara or Folty develops into an ace.

  37. I believe in love and peace and never wear shoes, but this old hippie loves the Mets less than most anything in this world. Could you please pitch well against them tonight, Julio? Pretty please?

  38. @47 is the key here in all these discussions. The entire stated and apparent philosophy of the rebuild is to stockpile numerous high-end pitching prospects, knowing that a few are bound to work out and give you a competitive rotation. If big FA dollars are spent, I’m wagering it’s on a position player.

  39. It’s also worth saying that you do not need “a true ace” to be a contender, especially when the experts say there are only 15 or so aces in all of baseball. A rotation with 3 number-two starters is formidable. You also don’t need multiple superstars to win a championship. Ender Inciarte probably shouldn’t be your best player, but it’s fine for him to be your third-best position player.

  40. I’m more bullish on Sims, Newcomb, Weigel than the guys below them. We’ll find out a lot this season. If none of those 3 can help then we in big big doodoo.

  41. Hearing the Braves may actually have a shot at Kyle Wright (best player in the draft), which would be amazing. Everything hinges on Tampa, from what I’m told.

  42. Ian Anderson looks to have out dueled Riley Pint this evening at low A: 6ip, 3 hits, 5k, 2 walks. Rome wins 2-0.

  43. So Dansby had a diving stop, a diving catch, a backhanded stop with a strong throw, a 2-run double, and a hustle double with the game-winning run. That’s got to be his best big league game, right?

  44. @58

    “Ian Anderson looks to have out dueled Riley Pint”

    This is the British Isles version of ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia’ featuring a golden flute and a faerie king instead of a golden fiddle and the devil, right?

  45. Peanut…Dansby on Matt Adams preserving his 8th inning defensive gem: “We’ve finally got a first baseman who can pick it over there a little bit.”

  46. Very happy to see the great game by Dansby. He’s had a strong June so far. Is he coming around?

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