Spaniard! Spaniard! Spaniard!, gNats 2, Braves whimpering in the night

Maximus: You would fight me?

Commodus: Why not? Do you think I am afraid?

Maximus: I think you’ve been afraid all your life.
____
Tigris: We who are about to die, salute you!

As much as the phrase has been derided on this site, absolutely this game was a “tip your hat” to Max Scherzer kind of game.

Most of the time when you watch a Major League baseball game, at some point in the game you see something so magnificent it astounds you. Saturday it was Ozzie Albies catch. Sunday it was Charlie Culberson diving into the stands and making the play. When your team does that, a lot of times it wins. When the other team does that, a lot of times they win.

Such a moment occurred with Ender Inciarte leading off the 4th inning. First, if your leadoff hitter is batting for the second time leading off the 4th, you know it hasn’t been a good offensive night. Ender stakes the count to 3 balls and 2 strikes. Then, Scherzer throws one at Ender’s right knee. C. B. Bucknor called it a strike and Ender was livid. Well, despite C. B’s penchant for bizarre ball / strike calls, “FoxTrax” showed it clearly hit the inside edge of the strike zone. From the centerfield camera, that fastball rode arm side probably 8 inches total. Ender was protesting the impossibility of such a thing. On this night, Maximus was that effective.

In the first inning the gNats got 2 and otherwise Julio Teheran pitched fairly well. Probably number 3 starter good. Maximus pitched like the greatest of the gladiators.

All hail the Spaniard. All hail Maximus.

48 thoughts on “Spaniard! Spaniard! Spaniard!, gNats 2, Braves whimpering in the night”

  1. So what you’re saying is if they cut down the walks, they’re DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMEEEEEEEEEDDDDDD!!!!!?

  2. Well, define unsustainable. They’re bottom fifth in pitching WAR. It’s the offense being best in baseball that’s probably unsustainable, and thus the winning. Relief pitcher ERA, because of the walks, is probably unsustainable, but that’s reflected in overall pitching WAR.

    They’re 6-4, and they’re obviously not a .600 team. And in such a SSS, you’re a Neck Kakes HR away from being .500. Or any other singular event that was that important. The same problems still exist: lack of starting pitching, lack of offensive power, lack of depth in the pen. It’s whether or not, IMO, the SP improves and if we keep up great defense that will influence how the season goes. We hope to be a .500 team, and that’s what needs to happen to get there based on the other definites I think we have.

  3. Man, with all these unsustainable trends, it’s a good thing that we’re a young team with players we can hope will only get better as the season progresses.

    I’m holding out hope that the rotation will come together. We don’t have a solid core of starting pitchers, but if we did we could finally stop talking about being a sucky team.

  4. Defined as when Flaherty et al turn into the pumpkins that they are, when Swanson levels off, when Freddie isn’t walking 3 out of 4 PAs, if the pitching doesn’t improve drastically, the wins will become more infrequent.

    This isn’t difficult and Sam you can stow the obtuseness for the sake of it.

  5. Everyone knows the team isn’t this good and won’t be good this season.

    I’m talking about Teheran specifically. His control is going in the wrong direction. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect other younger pitchers to walk fewer batters, but Teheran is moving into the territory of “if you squint, having this guy as a fifth starter won’t kill the team,” which is not ideal.

  6. @9 So what you’re saying is, Teheran might be a little better than he was last year?

    Because last year I was ready for them to jettison him. Who would replace him? Don’t know, but I’d rather take a flyer on younger arms than a guy whose career trajectory is looking bad.

  7. Teheran has always been a flyball pitcher with a mediocre strikeout rate. His success depends upon restricting walks and homers – something he did successfully in 2013-14 when he compiled 28 Wins with an ERA just north of 3. Julio’s walk rate jumped markedly in 2015 and his ERA suffered; after recovering in 2016 (good walk rate, ERA back down to 3.21) his walk rate spiked again in 2017 in what ended up as a total lost year for him. 2018, so far, is looking like more of the same.

    My suspicion is that Julio hasn’t truly lost his command; rather, his stuff has declined and as a result he’s settled on a strategy of trying to nibble at the corners of the strike zone.

  8. Live Interview of the week just happened.
    Mad Dog and Snit. He must have fired twenty questions at him but in gentlemanly fashion.
    Snit said nothing new of course but fielded well. What a combo.

  9. That Scherzer pitch to Ender was seriously unreal, I can’t remember ever seeing that much arm-side break on a pitch.

    I’ll be at Nats Park tonight, I’m hoping Folty’s changeup will be there as well.

  10. McKenzie Gore
    the Tigers could hardly ask for more
    his father though has laid down strict conditions
    recycle when he’s done and other inhibitions.

  11. the moving ball will break
    then turn and start to shake
    its new course known to only one
    and he in turn assumes, for both, it’s so much fun.

  12. Did Folty do something to shorten his delivery in the offseason? I didn’t really follow the offseason stories too closely (ie. best shape of his life, 30 lbs slimmer, etc), but MLB posted a blurb in the matchups that Folty shortened his delivery and improved his control.

    Any substance to this??

  13. 18 – Definitely a shorter windup this year with no one on. Like he’s almost, but not quite, going from the stretch all the time. His curveball and changeup, and really just overall command, have been a lot better so far. But who knows

  14. We line up all this money to grab a 3B in next year’s FA class, and one moves to shortstop and one currently has a dead arm. This isn’t looking good.

  15. In addition to Adam R’s good point, just because you have money and a need at 3B doesn’t mean you gotta overpay to fill it. I’ll take Joe Average at 3B and figure out some other way to upgrade my team with the additional money. From where I’m sitting, we still need starting pitching.

    BTW, all: Foltynewicz can win me over tonight. If he goes out there and delivers another quality start with a 4+ K/bb ratio, I’ll be talking about him as part of our core.

  16. It seems to me the most obvious need for next year is the outfield. Even assuming Acuna works out (and he had 2 hits today so maybe he’s ok after all), the 2019 Braves will trade for or sign an outfielder. There is no one now in the system who could be the third outfielder. That’s not to say they won’t also need a third baseman, catcher, and maybe starting pitcher.

  17. We kind of need two of our three remaining position player holes to be filled with players who are well above average. Assuming Dansby doesn’t keep this up. And assuming Austin Riley and Alex Jackson don’t work out.

    Hey, Dallas Keuchel will be out there, as will be new-and-improved Patrick Corbin…and of course, CHARLIE MORTON.

  18. 27 — This is why I hope they give Tucker an extended look rather than bench him for Markakis, to see if he is an answer.

  19. 29 – The problem is you can’t (or Snitker won’t) bench Markakis, because of his Veteran Presence ™.

  20. If nothing else, they can come up with an arrangement where there is a rotation of each OF starting 5-6 times a week between the 4 of them.

  21. In the most wildly optimistic scenarios, you can imagine Riley working out at third and Jackson or Cumberland at catcher as early as next year. There really is not an outfielder in the system who is within a couple of years of being ready. Unless you believe Tucker can be a productive regular (but will he get the opportunity?) or maybe if Peterson is healthy and gets back on track–but thats the longest shot of all.

  22. Scherzer has a stolen base, Zimmerman has a triple. What’s next? Is Dave Martinez going to step back in and rope a double?

  23. @39 because for some god forsaken reason no one in this organization has figured out that they aren’t any good. I am REALLY hoping that AA is quicker to jettison some of these guys that they can get other teams to believe have some use.

    @40 You mean a lineup with Ryan Flaherty playing every day isn’t fearsome?

  24. The first two guys in the order will never walk – Inciarte because you can groove one down the middle and just see how close to the warning track he might hit it, and Albies because he swings at pretty much everything. Then you can pitch around Freeman. Wash, rinse, repeat.

    I see our catcher is a “C. Perez”. I would have not been able to tell you who that is without looking it up.

    I still hold out hope that about 10 spots on the active roster will have new/better players in them by early summer.

  25. Well, it wasn’t a great start for Folty, so I will continue to wait and see. I think he’s probably the best we have for now.

  26. Not a great start, but not all that bad either. This series is an uphill battle. Avoiding the sweep is about all I can ask for.

  27. Swanson looks like he might be onto something with his new setup. His timing and balance are dramatically improved from last year.

  28. I’d like to see more than 5 IP on 100 pitches from our guys, but there’s progress nonetheless.

    I really miss the days of making every pitch matter.

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