Atlanta 3, Oakland 1

Wow. THAT was an old-timey pitcher’s duel.

Mike Foltynewicz took a no hitter into the top of the ninth, and Sonny Gray took the tough luck loss as Atlanta won the opening game of the series 3-1. Folty was Filty, retiring the first 12 A’s, and wound up surrendering only 4 walks and a 9th inning lead-off homer to A’s first baseman Matt Olson. Jim Johnson came on to make it interesting, giving up a double to Jed Lowrie on the first pitch, but then settled down and struck out the side to nail down the win.

Gray was almost as good as Folty, going eight innings and allowing only two hits, but they were fortunately spaced for Atlanta. They came in the third, with a Johan Carmago double, follwed by a Dansby Swanson double to take a 1-0 lead. And there it stayed, as Gray did not allow another Atlanta baserunner.

In the top of the 9th, Oakland sent Sean Doolittle to the mound, and he gave up the difference makers. Swanson led off with a walk. Ender Inciarte forced him at second with a bunt attempt, but then stole second. Brandon Phillips singled him home, and then Matt Kemp singled in Phillips.

It seemed the lengthy top of the 9th may have taken it’s toll on Folty, as Olson battled him for 9 pitches before finally homering on Folty’s 119th pitch of the evening. Nike struck out 8 A’s to go against his one hit allowed and 4 walks. He looked to be in control of himself and was the dominant starter we all know he can be. Anyway, Oakland will now have to turn around and figure out R.A. Dickey and his knuckleball after a steady diet of 95+ gas. Win, win, win. I can get used to this.

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22 thoughts on “Atlanta 3, Oakland 1”

  1. Great start by Folty.

    @JohnWDB: Nobody was taking Upton off our hands without including something really good. Our team was rebuilding at the time and a closer like Kimbrel was a luxury that we didn’t need.

  2. I’m not arguing either point, braves14. We didn’t have to dump upton then, and we could’ve easily held Kimbrel for a few more months. I understand your points, though, and I liked the trade more at the time. The Olivera trade I hated from the first instant.

  3. So Folty can go six. Who knew? Secretariat was magnificent last night. Despite the four walks, his control was spot on, especially early. Though JJ is a drama queen, Snit was right to go get Mikey in the ninth. 119 pitches: hope we didn’t witness Johan Santana part two.

    Win the series today, boys. I don’t mind west coast day games one bit.

    Thank you for the recap, Seat Painter. Thanks for the thrill, Folty.

  4. I remember a game in 1991 or 1992 where Andy Benes had a no-hitter broken up by a late homer against us. I seem to remember Skip saying “there goes the no-hitter and there goes the shutout”.

  5. No hitters are odd. I’ve always thought it was interesting that Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz collectively had zero no hitters, while Kent Mercker had 2 (one of which was shared).

    I recall Maddux saying at one point that he never expected to pitch a no hitter because he didn’t strike out enough batters. Getting a lot of groundball outs is a recipe for great success, but odds are at least a couple of weak grounders will get through the infield.

  6. IF (big IFs) these things happen, I think the Braves are a legit contender:

    -Sean Rodriguez returns healthy, wealthy, and wise (gives Kemp breaks in LF, backup at every IF position).
    -Freeman can handle 3B.
    -Adams splits the difference between his current production and career production.
    -Teheran has a second half equivalent to his overall career numbers (3.57 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 1.1 HR/9 compared to current 1.9 HR/9).
    -Folty pitches like his April and June numbers (2.81 April ERA in 4 GS, 2.97 June ERA in 6 GS) and not May (6.12 ERA in 5 GS).
    -A Newcomb regression doesn’t look like Aaron Blair’s 2016.
    -Some sort of reinforcement in the pen either via someone like Minter being called up or trade (not likely).
    -Either Arizona or Colorado fade down the stretch, preferably as they beat each other up.

    Stranger things have happened, like 1991.

  7. Sandy Alderson came clean about Tebow’s signing:

    http://florida.247sports.com/Bolt/New-York-Mets-GM-comes-clean-about-signing-Tim-Tebow-53407025

    This was my response on Facebook, so please forgive its dumbed-down nature:

    Might be some of the best stuff to ever come out of Alderson’s mouth. Honesty and objectivity. Obviously there was some element of celebrity for Tebow’s signing and promotion to the High-A Florida State League, which has 11 teams all within 3 hours of Gainesville, FL. That’s no coincidence. And being honest about it is a welcomed sight. Every owner of a FSL team is happy that Tebow will come in as a visiting player and give attendance a little bump.

    But his key point is one people simply don’t understand: “why not?” Why not give a good guy a buried spot at the bottom of the organizational depth chart? Why not give the 25th spot on an A-ball roster to someone who might very well surprise you? It’s the definition of low risk, high reward.

    And while people will only look at his low batting average, Alderson is right that Tebow is exhibiting some detailed but important parts of minor league development: command of the strike zone, in-game extra base power, and outfield instincts. I obviously can’t watch a lot of his games, but I’ve followed the box scores, his K/BB, isolated discipline and power, and his overall OPS. Now that he’s here, he’s in no jeopardy of going anywhere, and that’s about all you can ask for right now.

    If he gets promoted to AA, though, I will change my tune immediately. Pun intended, but that’s a completely different ballgame.

  8. Colorado is in free-fall and lacks the pitching to maintain their earlier success. I suspect the 2nd wildcard will go to the Cubs.

    @11, I never understood the caterwauling over Tebow’s signing. He wasn’t just some celebrity–he is a legitimately elite athlete who has a higher ceiling than most of the guys toiling in the low minors.

  9. 1 — I get your points too. I just don’t think that trade was quite a disaster. We did get a 2 WAR season from Maybin, and got whatever Austin Riley turns into. Granted, Wisler has been a disappointment, and Krol is just a guy.

  10. Chip and Joe talking about strikeouts again: “I know people say a strikeout is just the same as any other out, but I don’t believe it”

    The thing is, they’re right in a sense. All things equal, a strike out is worse than a BIP out some percentage of the time (it’s also better in the case of a double play, but for most players, these are rare). But all things are not equal. What they neglect to consider is that players who strike out a ton usually trade contact for power. Making hard contact 7/10 times is better than making weak contact 9/10 times.

    Yes, if Khris Davis could take some of his strikeouts and convert them to productive fly outs and grounders, it would be great, but he can’t do that without sacrificing hard contact in other ABs.

  11. @15 That’s the beauty of this game is that the quality of an outcome is purely situational. There are times when a strike out is better than a weak grounder, and then there are times when weak contact would be enough to get the job done.

    What’s great is when you have a hitter who is good enough to bring the right approach into any situation. A good example of this kind of hitter is Chipper Jones. I always believed he would come through with a pop fly or opposite field hit when the situation needed it.

    And then there are those guys who no matter the situation, will find a way to produce the worst outcome…

  12. Ugh…Vizcaino. Stupid to walk the lead off hitter in front of Davis because he was convinced he needed to throw him sliders. His lack of command won’t ever allow him to be a full time closer

  13. We need Dansby to help carry the load. Kemp is hurting and not effective. The rest of the lineup might be regressing a bit. Time for Swanson to pro-gress.

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