Braves 12, Giants 11

Ho hum. Another routine win.

The Braves scored 12 runs on 16 hits—4 of them dingers—and they managed to eke out a one run win that went down to the wire in the 9th. Jaime Garcia had his second consecutive lousy start, giving up 6 runs (on 7 hits and 3 walks) in 4 1/3. His pitches were consistently up in the zone, which does not work for him. Thanks to an 8 run explosion by the Braves in the 5th, they took a six run lead into the 8th, which is when it got interesting. Ian Krol did his usual, giving up 3 in the 8th, which included a home run by the lefty Brandon Belt. And Jim Johnson had yet another poor 9th, giving up 2 more runs on a couple of hits and a walk. Fortunately, he got Pence to ground out and end the game with the tying run on second.

To be fair to the pitchers in the 8th and 9th, the defense was once again cringe worthy. Last night’s implosion didn’t match the epic fail of Tuesday’s 8th inning disaster—but it came close. An error by Lane Adams in the 8th contributed to the 3 run Giant inning, and Danny Santana made one of the worst defensive plays of the season in the 9th that very nearly cost the game. It was one of those “mental” errors that doesn’t count as an “E” in the scorebook, but it reminded me of a fielding play I used to see when I coached TBall: “Wow, I managed to field the ball, but there are baserunners moving all over the diamond, and I don’t know what to do with it!”

By the way, Adams, L., was in left and Santana was at second because our aging starters at those positions, Kemp and Phillips, both left the game in the middle innings with tight groin and/or hamstring muscles.

What’s up with this team? Your Atlanta Braves have won 5 of 6 and 7 of 10, they’ve won 3 straight series, they’ve only lost 1 of the 6 series they’ve played in June (with one split against the Phillies). Their record since June 2 is 12-8, for a cool .600 winning percentage. And thanks to a woeful division, they remain in second place.

But are they really any good? They are certainly scoring runs. Remember this time a year ago when the Braves had not just the worst offense in baseball, but one of the worst in the history of baseball? Now that Danby is hitting (he’s had a very good June) and Camargo has taken over at third, they’re getting solid performances up and down the lineup. The bench has actually been productive the past few weeks. They are getting career best performances from Flowers and Matt Adams, and Matt Kemp and Brandon Phillips are hitting like it’s 2011. Did you realize our first baseman Fratt Fremadams is on pace for 60 home runs?

Still, the pitchers are not nearly good enough for the team to be truly competitive. We know what a bust Colon has been, and Dickey hasn’t done much to show he has any trade value. Garcia was the one veteran Coppy brought in who was performing, but he may be turning into a pumpkin just in time to ruin what trade value he has. Even Jim Johnson’s stock is rapidly declining.

On the other hand, several of the veteran hitters (Kemp, Phillips, Matt Adams, Flowers, Markakis) are performing well enough to be attractive targets. But it is precisely their performance that has the Braves playing at a pretty good pace and has some of the fans dreaming of making a run for a playoff spot. Coppy and the FO are going to have some very interesting decisions to make in the next month.

Tonight the Braves and Folty take on the Central division-leading Brewers, once again in Coors Field East.

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59 thoughts on “Braves 12, Giants 11”

  1. Coors Field East bound and down, loaded up and truckin’
    We gonna do what they say can’t be done.
    The boys are thirsty in Atlanta, and there’s beer in Texarkana
    Coors Field East bound, watch ol’ Coppy run.

  2. Will the Braves make a playoff run?

    Are we gonna do what they say can’t be done?

    We’ve got a long way to go, and a short time to get there.

  3. Raise your hand if you would not have been surprised at the 1st of the year by the following after 72 games.

    2nd place in the East
    3 games worse than the Cubs
    12.5 games better than the Giants

  4. A classic recap. Thank you.

    There’s little worse than a busted Colon; yet there may be hope for R.A. Dickey, based on his last start sample size. What’s not to like about Jaime? He’s lefthanded and couldn’t break a window pane with his fastball, even if he managed to hit it, which is a different question.

    Results trump potential in the standings. Whatever else is going on, the Braves are winning right now. Please don’t lose your bats, boys; and for Snit’s sake remember your gloves today. Hit it, catch it, and throw it, pretty please.

    Blazon was ablaze. He doesn’t slump.

  5. Good recap, tfloyd.

    Love that we’ve been winning these games, but let’s take a look at what’s been going on the past six weeks.

    We were at 11 – 20, coming off a 6 game losing streak, on May 12th. The six games were the last game of a Mets series and then a 5 game reality check against the Astros and Cardinals.

    Since then we have played

    -6 against the Marlins (32-39)
    -3 against the Angels (38-38)
    -4 against the Blue Jays (35-37)
    -7 against the Giants (27-48)
    -4 against the Mets (31-41)
    -4 against the Pirates (33-40)
    -3 against the Reds (30-41)
    -4 against the Phillies (23-48)(!)
    -6 against the Nationals (43-29)

    We have a couple more series against bad teams after the Brewers leave town (SD, OAK), but then July, August, and September are going to get a lot harder. Maybe everything stays magical. Maybe. I’m not counting on it.

    Anyway, lovely-ish win. I do *hope* they keep coming.

  6. there was a young rookie at second
    who never before had he reckoned
    what to do with the ball
    so did nothing at all
    thus immortality beckoned

    There will be a short ceremony on the mound prior to tonight’s match up against the Brewers.Danny Santana will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Wash will be alongside him, at all times pointing out the plate.

    Most importantly Snit will be on his other side shouting, release! Or, if necessary, throw the damn ball.

  7. The NL East is horrid. We have a legit chance to finish over .500 this year if we don’t sell everything that’s not tied down at the deadline. Wildcard odds are slim to none still, but slim is a lot better than none.

  8. The NL East is horrid. We have a legit chance to finish over .500 this year if we don’t sell everything that’s not tied down at the deadline. Wildcard odds are slim to none still, but slim is a lot better than none.

    Which is to say, we’re exactly where we were going into 2015, only with a real farm.

  9. We’ll play 30 games between now and the deadline, 18 of which are against the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Cubs, Nationals, and Astros. A lot can happen within that time, and I think we’ll know definitively where we stand by then. If we play poorly against those teams and beat up on the Phils, Brewers, Padres, and A’s, then I think it’d turn us into an aggressive buyer for 2018 and an aggressive seller of 2017 rentals. Fortunately, with how top heavy the NL is, and how far we are away from Washington, I would think we wouldn’t be buying for 2017. My fear would be some crazy scenario where we sweep the four games @Nats, win 3/5 of the games between the clunkers, .500 against the other good ones, and we’re 5 games out of the East and, say, 2 games under .500. And instead of taking strong offers for the rentals, we decide to hold onto them. I would hope we wouldn’t do that.

  10. Who’s going to realistically get us anything truly useful in return other than Matt Adams? I think we’ve pretty much run out of things to sell. I also have prospect/trade fatigue. At some point you start trying to win.

    There’s not tons of opportunity cost in mostly standing pat at the deadline. Get what you can for Jim Johnson and other spare parts, unblock spots for more young arms, and let’s move forward with an actual baseball team in the 2nd half.

  11. @14

    I think you can get something for Adams, Phillips, Garcia and Motte. Those guys aren’t going to help us win next year. If they are, then we can always resign them.

    Plus moving them opens up spots for Ablies, Minter and Simms. We need to see what we have in those guys at some point.

  12. Let’s see:

    • Brett Cumberland went 0 for 3 with 3 Ks in his Fire Frogs debut. Dan Winkler started his rehab and pitched an effective inning of baseball, so that’s good to see.

    • Rome was pretty lousy all around save for Christian Pache who went 2 for 4 with a double. He’s got his batting average up over .300 for the year.

    • Maitan Watch kicked off last night with a rainout in Danville. Doubleheader today.

  13. The Braves don’t have to make any deals right now. Wait until late July and see where we are.

  14. If the team decides to buy (if they stay hot and get close to the Nationals), Dustin Peterson looks like a trade candidate to me. Acuna looks like the heir apparent in RF, while Inciarte and Kemp are under contract. In fact, he might be an offseason trade candidate anyway.

  15. Name the left-handed pitcher that has the lowest ERA, WHIP and K/9 on the Dodgers starting staff.

    Okay, I’ll tell you: Alex Wood.

  16. The Fire Frogs are indeed horrible. The talent is much more highly concentrated in A- and AA.

  17. On the radio Jim was saying the Braves management is convinced that Matt Adams will continue to hit at this current level–that they don’t expect him to regress to his previously established levels.
    He did not say why they expect this. My first thought was that’s wishful thinking bordering on delusion.
    OTOH, it’s not unheard of. Jose Bautista never had an OPS+ of 100 before his age 29 season. Then his next 5 seasons he averagd about 150.
    Problem is, there is no way to know in advance. Surely the odds are that Adams OPS will be closer to .780 than to .930 going forward. But I hope the Braves are right.

  18. That home run notwithstanding, when was the last time we’ve had a starter with as unhittable stuff as Folty and Newcomb? Beachy? …. Maddux?

  19. I had thought Freeman was too tall and large to play 3B, but sure enough, both he and Kris Bryant are 6’5″, 230 LB.

    It further suggests that the Braves are trying to model their team around the ultra-versatile Cubs’ position player roster. Coppy has said that Albies could play multiple positions too, though we haven’t seen that at AAA yet (unless you could SS too). But with SRod, Jace, Santana, and Camargo, they’re really trying to find their own super utility guys.

  20. Rob, Folty has given up 82 hits in 74 innings in 2017 heading into this evening’s outing. We have had plenty of starters who have been exactly as ‘unhittable’ as him.

  21. The last time we had a starter who had an arm like Folty was maybe Shelby Miller. Or if you think you need to go farther, probably Smoltz.

  22. Five innings, 100+ pitches in a 2-1 game’s a bunch. Do we have enough relievers left to throw four more?

  23. An article in beyond the boxscore asserted that our old friend Troy Glaus was (along with Bryant) the only other third baseman as tall as 6′-5″ in the past 20 years. Scott Rolen was 6-4 and about 245 and he was a very good defensive third baseman.

  24. .309, .305, .294, .299, .325 would be an amazing turn of events for hitters 1 through 5 in the line-up even if Freeman were healthy. Today: it’s a miracle.

  25. There is something very wrong with Max Fried. Tonight he lasted 2/3 of an inning, giving up 5 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks. And that was after he’d been given a 6-0 lead in the top of the first (and he drove in one of those runs himself)
    Before the season started, I thought he may be in ATL by the end of this year. Just more evidence that if you are relying on pitching prospects, you’d better have a lot of them.

  26. Cal Ripken at 6’4″ and a leaner 200 LB playing SS is a similar anomaly. A-Rod was 6’3″ 230 LB, but I don’t know if that reflects his late career weight gain.

  27. @38–true. And when Kemp’s in the lineup rather than Santana it’s 6 in a row all hitting at least .294.

  28. What the hell you waiting Snitker ?? Ramirez clearly aint got it .. you gonna wait till u blow the lead before pulling him … 8th inning you gotta have some guys throwing ..

  29. Good job by Ramirez to induce that rocket. Anything slower, wouldn’t have been able to turn two.

  30. 39 — Fried is the only one of the 3 pitchers who skipped A+ ball that it seems to have negatively affected. I hope he’s not hurt.

  31. Two fantastic plays by Dansby in the 9th. One heads up play where he cut down the lead runner at 3rd on a ground ball. That loomed large considering the next fly out would have scored the tying run. He also stopped play to talk to Vizzy before he made the game-clinching diving catch. The announcers speculated he was trying to position himself properly.

    He also boasts a .863 OPS in June, and his hair’s not bad too.

    Winning is fun.

  32. @38

    And more importantly, I’d say, is that the lineup now has a competent player top to bottom. If you give Dansby a sophomore one month pass, each regular now has a .740 OPS or higher. You’d have to go all the way back to 2004 to find that consistent of lineup production.

  33. The 2004 team was 32-38 at one point. It finished with 96 wins. JD Drew and Jaret Wright had career years. Wright in particular came off the trash heap. I miss Leo Mazzone.

  34. bWAR hates Matt Kemp. He is 12th on the team in bWAR behind such heroes as Jason Motte, Kurt Suzuki, and Jose Ramirez. fWAR is a little nicer and has him 6th on the team.

  35. @ 30
    Tommy Hanson had some absolutely filthy stuff when he first came up. Too bad his rotator cuff was made of rusty barbed wire.

  36. It’s not very instructive, to my mind, to look for big third basemen to try to imagine how Freddie will do. You know why? Because they were all third basemen.

    Freddie isn’t a great first basemen, and the one flashy thing he looks like he’s good at that make people think he’s a great first baseman, he won’t ever do at third, and that’s pick throws in the dirt. At third, he will get to flash the under appreciated quality he has at 1B, which is a strong and largely accurate throwing arm.

    So let’s say those two cancel each other out. You’re left with a slow footed, relative statue of a first baseman, standing at third base.

    Either way, we’ll know how it’s going to go before he ever plays third in a major league game. I expect his rehab assignment to be pretty ugly.

  37. @ 53
    Me, too. Once upon a time I argued for him like Edward for Heyward or Rob for Mallex. I reckon most of us around these parts have one of those.

  38. @54, agreed that it may get ugly. Then again, we may get surprised because after all, he’s Freddie Freakin Freeman!

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