Nothing 8 runs won’t cure.
The Reds Luis Castillo struck out 8 in his 4 innings, but his inability to go deeper was costly, as Tyler Flowers broke open a 2 – 0 game in the 5th with a grand slam off of Drew Storen. Brandon Phillips and Freddie Freeman added 3 hits apiece, and Sean Newcomb battled through 5 innings to get his 2nd win. Newcomb allowed 5 hits, 5 walks, and hit a batter, but did not allow a run. Matt Wisler added 3 uneventful innings of scoreless relief; Max Fried allowed the run in the 9th.
Ozzie Albies and Dansby Swanson added 2 hits apiece, as patience remains in order. It’s pretty well known that hitters can be expected to improve in performance up to a peak age, after which point they can be expected to decline. There is some debate over exactly what that peak age is, but ages 26 – 29 will catch the peak season of a lot of players. Here’s one of many pieces of research: http://www.hardballtimes.com/how-do-baseball-players-age-part-1/
There are exceptions (Tyler Flowers,) and few careers follow a perfect curve of annual improvement followed by annual decline, but anyhow, that’s the way to bet.
The Braves have a big gap in the age curve between prospects Albies, Swanson, Johan Camargo, and Ronald Acuna, and prime age players Freeman and Ender Inciarte. There is really no one relevant in between the very young and the prime. It’s like a college team with only a couple of good Seniors and a promising Freshman class.
I’d like to see the Braves make a couple of bets on some players closer to their prime who are blocked, or otherwise out of favor in their organizations. I think it’s a cheaper way to accelerate the rebuild to gamble on this type of player to break through, and better odds. For example, the Reds just got Scooter Gennett off waivers. The Dodgers just sent Joc Pederson to the minors. The Mets won’t commit to a position for Wilmer Flores. Andrelton Simmons could be had for a couple of minor leaguers, probably. Insert your favorite candidate here: _______.
In any case, it sure would be nice if when the Braves make their next wave of moves for them to get someone on the right side of the age curve, rather than another Dan Uggla, Melvin Upton Jr., or Hector Olivera. Hey, Matt Adams has worked out pretty well.
The Braves salvage a game from the 3 game series and hope to carry that over when Seattle comes to town Monday.
God as my witness, the funniest thing I ever heard about anywhere.
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