Doubleheader Yale 9, Iona 0. Atlanta 7, Philadelphia 3.

So a night game allows me a doubleheader. This afternoon I ventured down to City Park in New Rochelle, NY for a 3:30 start and watched my alma mater, Yale, defeat the Iona Gaels 9-0. I will not recap the game in any detail, but any other Yalies who want to know what happened can PM me. Yale’s manager for the last 18 seasons, former Cardinal John Stuper, used six pitchers to prepare for the rest of the Ivy league season and, perhaps, a second straight trip to the NCAAs. It’s now 5 years since our NCAA Hockey Championship, and I suspect our next gonfalon won’t be in baseball. It does remind me though that Yale has a national championship in baseball: the 1948 team captained by George Bush. RIP Barbara, and Boola-Boola.

Two post-game Bourbons courtesy of a friend who is an Iona employee and a quick trip for grocery store sushi and I arrive back home just in time for the start of the other game. This retirement thing could just work. I will not rehash the day’s off-the-field activity: signing Jose Bautista, DL-ing Anibal Sanchez on an outfield jogging injury, the addition of Jesse Biddle, or the call-up of Johan “Sebastian” Camargo so that Bautista can have 3rd base at Gwinnett to himself.

After game 16, the 1966 Braves were, like the 2018 edition, 9-7. In the next game they beat the Astros 4-3 with a two-out walkoff homer by Hank Aaron. That guy was good. Joe Morgan was 0-4, but I’m sure there was some Sabermetric explanation for it. The Braves at the end of that game had three players OPSing over 1.000: Aaron, Alou and Torre.

So the Phillies started a famous Spanish painter against the loose-shouldered Brandon McCarthy. The early innings had Ender Inciarte over the wall to take a home run away in the first, and a nice pick and throw by Ryan Flaherty in the 4th, but otherwise was an exercise in pitching efficiency. Two out singles by Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis led to naught with a noisy (from Chip) Kurt Suzuki flyout.

The Phillies take a lead when Velasquez gets a two-out single in the 5th. The Braves lead off the bottom with a Preston Tucker walk and a Dansby Swanson single. And then, a 3-run hemi-semi-demi folk hero homer from Ryan Flaherty, the 36th of his career, but the first since June 22, 2016. Nice try, Ryan, but Camargo has already been called up. The home run killed the rally, though it might not have had Ozzie Albies not been picked off first on a replay.
Trouble in the top of the sixth, but Shane Carle relieves McCarthy and retires Hoskins and Williams. More trouble in the 7th when Ozzie boots a double play. Santana hits into a double play that scores a run to narrow the lead to 3-2.
Hibernation mode interrupted with a Dansby shot in the 7th. And speaking of double headers, Camargo pulls off the rare two-team double-header by playing a day game in Gwinnett and pinch hitting in the seventh. He struck out.

So now it’s the new nervous time – late innings and the bullpen with a small lead. Dan Winkler pitches the 8th – uneventful. We like uneventful. The bottom of the inning was not uneventful. Freddie hit on the wrist and walks straight off the field. Details will I’m sure come later, but it didn’t look good.

Unhibernation begins. Hits from Neck and Suzy lead to a run. A Flaherty hit adds another.

I’d say a five run lead going to the bottom of the ninth was plenty, but I saw the horror on Waveland on Saturday. In walks Minter. The ninth begins with a walk, a wild pitch and a double. But this is Wednesday – my day. K-K-F8 to end it. Pray for Freddie and bring on the Metsies.

Author: JonathanF

Alive since 1956. Braves fan since 1966. The first ten years were pretty much wasted. Exiled to Yankees/Mets territory in 1974 --- bearable only with TBS followed by MLB.TV.

130 thoughts on “Doubleheader Yale 9, Iona 0. Atlanta 7, Philadelphia 3.”

  1. 10 straight games with the starter giving up 2 ER or less. This has been a really strong stretch of starting pitching that may be getting overshadowed by some bullpen implosions and the really exciting play by our young position players.

    Also, Ender is starting to get a little hot too. I think he’s had a couple hits two nights in a row now. And of course, his catch last night was one of the best at STP so far.

  2. The thing I have liked most about the team’s performance is they have not lost a series at home yet, and they have only lost one series on the road.

  3. So far, the only thing we know is that it’s not obviously fractured and the team has indicated that they believe he’ll be fine. As the clock continues tick, though, I’ve got to wonder if the CT scans are muddying the water.

  4. Not to play amateur MD, but I’d have to think that they’d know if it was fractured. So either they aren’t saying, or it’s not fractured but they don’t know how long he’ll be out.

    My wife had some compassion for someone who got plunked on the hand the other day, and I told her that those that dive towards the plate suffer that risk. Well, FF5 pretty much does the same thing. I don’t think it’s so much lefty relievers that don’t have good control. It’s lefty relievers that are going to pound FF5 inside, and he can’t get out of the way. That’s more on him, really.

  5. @8 Yeah, but… I don’t feel like anybody has any business being 12″ off the plate inside on anyone. That guy was no where close to the plate with that pitch even if he wasn’t intentionally throwing at Freeman. And Freddie is nothing like Walt Weiss when it comes to crowding the plate or stepping in, so there’s plenty of room to come inside without risking hitting the guy…

  6. I hate being a spoilsport, but Yale is 0-2 in the modern era College World Series. The ’47 team lost to Cal-Berkeley 0-2 (best of 3) and the ’48 team lost to Southern Cal 1-2 (best of 3). President Bush played 1b on both teams. The event was held in Kalamazoo MI both years, moving to Omaha in 1950 with a detour via Wichita KS in ’49.

  7. @9

    Some of us have to ‘fluff it up with nonsense’ otherwise there would be nothing to read in the recap. Try it some time.

  8. God and Man at Yale.

    Now it seems there were two or three that came on to here. Hiding their lights under a bushel.

    Buckley…Darling…and so it goes on.

  9. This isn’t relevant to anything, but I really like Chip Caray. I think he’s legitimately a good man, and I think he gets an unfair rap for nepotism and getting way too excited about outs. Someone flew out to the warning track last night, and he got too excited, and he actually seemed to try to explain why he got so excited, almost sheepishly. I like the guy, and he’s our guy.

  10. Some responses:
    @9 Thanks
    @12 You’re right… I got carried away. In my incredibly lame defense, I though that California was not yet part of the US in 1948. Plus, I’m old, but not old enough to remember 1948.
    @14 It’s not any good, but it’s quick. And on top of the Bourbon you barely notice.
    @16 We can agree to disagree. His sheepishness is a defense mechanism for incompetence. And he’s got a bundle of these mechanisms at the ready because he needs them a lot. I accept that he recognizes a lot of his failings, unlike, say FP Santangelo, and this makes him better than Santangelo. And I’m still saving my rant on “right guy at the right time” for a future recap.

  11. Seems relevant:

    Rick C
    1:40 Do you think it’s reasonable for the Braves to hold Acuna down until he’s hitting a little better?
    Keith Law
    1:40 I do. He’s been swinging out of his ass lately.

  12. @16

    I don’t know that I like him, but I have settled on a general “he may be a doofus, but he’s our doofus” line of thinking. I feel the same way about Joe and his “old man yells at cloud” act. (When typing that, I just now had the disquieting realization that I might be old enough to make pop culture references that some people are too young to get…*shudders*).

    When Chip says something dumb now, it doesn’t even bother me anymore, so much as cause me to shake my head and try to pretend that I didn’t hear it.

  13. “Old man yells at cloud” is in with the kids right now. Not as much as steamed hams, but that’s hard to compete with.

    I always thought “pulchritude” sounds like it should mean the exact opposite of what it does.

  14. @21

    As a general rule, any references to The Simpsons may indeed be ahead of some people. It’s quite the realization.

    At any rate, I’m not sure what defines incompetence from a baseball announcer. I think the worst thing you can be is boring. Baseball is meant to be entertaining, and I’m willing to overlook some carelessness, some bad philosophy, and some overzealousness if you are exciting. I would have to hear more about what makes Chip incompetent. Another follow-up question would be for you to list some announcers you really like. That’d help.

    I just love this. He let the play happen, Kakes tee’d off, he gave a great call, and then he let the action unfold. I can live with some doofus things if you can deliver when the game is unfolding, like here.

  15. Chip is fine compared to most…it bugs me that he doesn’t know the game as well as he should, given his background. It must be that he didn’t really play it much.

  16. @25

    I will say that I do think he’s pretty good in those situations. Since he’s a little overly excitable, when a situation is genuinely exciting, it tends to work pretty well with his style. I also like the fact that he always gets out of the way of the visuals quickly during those moments. The Heyward “Welcome to the show!” call is probably the best example of that from him, and if you asked me the best Chip Caray call of a play that I’ve ever heard, that’s almost certainly it.

  17. I have a client that makes a lot of the supermarket sushi in WNC and upstate SC. He always brings me some and it’s always terrific. Can’t say I have tried what goes out to the stores, mind you.

    Here in Asheville we used to have an NBA developmental league team, the Altitude (yeah, cheesy). When they had a contest to choose a nickname for the cheerleaders I sent in “Pulchritude”. Surprisingly, I lost…
    Nice to know Chief and I agree on something.

  18. I can live with Chip. There are worse out there. Is he calling the game by watching the monitor, or is he watching the action on the field?

  19. I really don’t know what Bourjos gives you that Lane doesn’t other than the inability to slide into home properly. Would much rather have Lane.

  20. @25: Focusing only on play-by-play TV guys, I’d say that Gary Cohen and Duane Kuiper have the four things you want: (1) they get the play right while it’s happening; (2) they provide *useful* commentary between pitches; (3) they are entertaining; and (4) they exhibit a fair measure of, but not too much, home town bias.

    Chip is nowhere near as bad as say, Hawk Harrelson or (to move to radio) former Braves announcer John Sterling. But he lost a network job for an inability to do (1) and hasn’t gotten much better over time; on (2) ymmv, but I find him repeating the same observations over and over about players which have no insight at all (“Let’s see if he can tie this game up with a timely hit”) (3) is OK, intermittently, and he’s OK on (4).

    I’m not trying to convince anyone here (or anywhere else) why I don’t think he’s very good, and it’s not nearly bad enough to make me turn off the sound altogether (looking at you, Bob Carpenter); he just makes me wince four or five times a game — but then so did last year’s team on the field.

  21. 26—I’m super-fuzzy on the details (as you will see), but I’m recalling a story ububba once told here about a softball game with Chip when they were both in J-school together, and someone drilled someone with an errant throw, and I think maybe the punchline was that Chip was a red ass who got extremely ticked off and acted like a b-hole?

    Anybody remember this story? I sure miss ububba.

  22. I think he left the Braves when the Braves left Atlanta. I know that’s when sansho left, because sansho said he would leave when that happened, and I think ububba disappeared around the same time.

  23. They clearly think Bourjos is the better defensive 5th OF and pinch runner. I would probably take Adams over him as well, but the usage pattern set this up as the obvious move. Adams has been the last OF on the bench all year. Bourjos, Flaherty and Culberson are clearly above him on the pecking order, for whatever reasons.

    When they call up Acuna I assume Bourjos is the next cut, giving them an OF of Neck, Ender and Ronaldhino/Tucker. Culberson would be the fifth guy and pinch runner, unless Joey Bats bats.

  24. @32 Dusty, I agree. And Lane is younger. I think they made the choice of which one they thought could pass through waivers more easily so we could keep both. I think Bourjos is a slightly better fielder and faster runner but Lane is a better hitter and Lane had cooled off at the plate recently. Overall, the difference is negligible.

  25. I think Roger is more or less correct, in that the performative difference between Lane Adams and Peter Bourjos is likely no better than whatever “veteran presence” bonus points Bourjos brings to the roster. The team is already full of kids. Having the fifth guy be veteran rather than another kid isn’t bad, per se.

  26. My biggest problems with Chip are that:

    1. He is willfully ignorant, especially with regard to analytics, and he (like Joe) is stubbornly proud of that fact. If he was willfully ignoring newfound data in another industry, he would lose money or his job.

    2. He and Joe always discuss the same old talking points. I get tired of hearing the same things all the time.

  27. I don’t get why some in the Twittersphere are blaming the FO for Wisler pitching tonight. If it were up to many of them, Soroka would be starting on one day of rest.

  28. Sucks is harsh. I vote for whatever is just above “sucks”. Lemke sucks. Chip is just bad.

  29. People like to hate on Chip because he was clearly a nepotism hire, he clearly has little understanding of respect for analytics, and he’s excitable to the point where calls outs hits. That said, he’s perfectly cromulent in the booth, and he clearly loves the Braves as “his dad’s team.”

    I suspect he’d lose the anti-numbers vibe if Simpson got the boot. Chip just goes with whatevers going on around him.

  30. @45

    If it were up to many of them, the rotation would be Soroka, Allard, Wright, Anderson, and Gohara. Newcomb, Folty, and Teheran have already been traded because they had one bad start, and the rotation next month will be Touki, Wentz, Mueller, Wilson, and Tarnok.

    Seriously, a lot of Twitter people have a serious rigamortis for prospects like the ones acquired after Coppy got here (Allard, Soroka, Wright, Anderson, AJax, Riley, etc.) are just can’t-missers. And that is uniquely contrasted with those that are dissatisfied with the current squad but want to get established but still young players via FA or trade.

  31. Play-by-play is a hard job. Chip is probably one of the 500 best TV play-by-play baseball guys in the world. But when there are only 30 MLB jobs, you’d think you might aim a little higher than cromulent. He’s the Danny Santana or Emilio Bonifacio of announcers. You should be actively trying to do better, and you could probably save money by doing so.

  32. Chip predicates a lot of what he’s saying with this weird stuttering half-laugh. It’s grating. A professional broadcaster would have cut that out a long time ago. As a non-ex-jock, Chip doesn’t have an excuse. As a nepotism hire, I guess he doesn’t have to get better, nor do his producers have any incentive to demand he get better. He just has to be there. As a Braves fan, I resent that. Bleh, meh, ugh.

    Lemke sucks but it’s an endearing kind of sucking. It’s a “so bad he’s good” kind of thing; if not good, at least entertaining. To people like me, I guess. My favorite Lemke-isms are when someone in the booth throws him an easy thing to riff on and he succinctly and sleepily replies, “That’s right, (fill in name of broadcaster)” and just leaves everybody hanging with dead air. That stuff’s gold.

  33. Agree Chip seems a nice guy and can adequately deliver a big moment, but I feel the #1 requirement of a play-by-play guy is to accurately vocalize the action occurring during a game, and for me, he simply screws that up too often.

    Remember having vaguely positive memories of Boog Sciambi before he went to ESPN, and it seems funny remembering Erin Andrews was once the on-field reporter.

    Given we’re dealing with quad-A guys, not sure why they just didn’t have Lucas Sims start tonight and put off having to DFA’ing Adams for another few days. At least with Sims, I can squint and almost be intrigued by the AAA strikeout rates

  34. @49 LOL @ one bad start. Folty is at least on his way to redemption in my eyes. Teheran OTOH is still, at best, a regression over what he used to be. He has some distance to cover if he even still has the physical capability to do it (ie. he’s lost some velocity).

  35. I miss ububba. Chip is okay. but Joe Simpson is the worst. He is boring and old-fashioned, mocking things he doesn’t understand. Just so annying. Loved loved loved it when Paul Byrd filled in for Joe for a few games last season. Free Paul Byrd!

  36. I believe ububba told the story to Harry and Harry said, “Maybe it knocked some sense into him.” Having college age grandsons, I understand that sentiment.

  37. I can’t believe all the Chip love on this thread. The guy is terrible at the fundamentals of his profession and has no style whatsoever. Joe is dumb and bland but inoffensive, whatever. But good Lord, Chip is the worst. He’s a total dweeb with grating vocal habits, and none of the irony / humor that made his dad so good.

    I actually enjoy the Mets broadcasts. The guys have great chemistry, and it’s just fun to hear Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling go back and forth.

  38. I like that Hernandez and Darling aren’t afraid to call a spade a spade when the situation warrants it. I’ve heard them call out players for being bush league, etc.

    I am weird too that I like John Sterling. I did not know he used to be a Braves announcer. Is that true?

  39. I grew up on John Sterling. He was in the booth with Pete, Skip and Ernie Johnson. What a great trio that was. Spoiled, we were!!! As a kid, John Sterling is a great announcer: Bombastic and a total homer. He left for the Yankees and was replaced in an interim basis by Billy Sample, who I liked as a player but didn’t hang on long as a broadcaster.

  40. The offensive performance of Flowers and Suzuki since donning Braves uniforms is one of the more pleasantly befuddling things I’ve seen

  41. I’m on Team Lemke, hardcore. I’ve been listening to a lot of radio broadcasts lately. He and Powell sound great together. But then, I think Powell brings out the best in everyone.

  42. I may never be as wrong about a player than I was about Ozzie Albies. He looks like a future HOF and I thought he’d struggle to bat .230.

    His wrists are no doubt very strong.

    As far as Suzuki, similar. He murders fastballs and he RARELY misses his pitch. There are some guys that when they get ‘their’ pitch, its probably a 60% chance its a HR and he’s like that.

    Suzuki was the only player that hit a HR on a pitch at least 102 or greater I believe year before last.

  43. @64–that is a great article on Ozzie. He’s been consistently outstanding every year of his professional career while being the youngest player in the league. Excelling at a very young age is a pretty good indication of an excellent career.

  44. Bill James in the comment underneath that article agreed that Albies is a “generational talent.” I don’t even think he’s getting enough love from Braves fans.

  45. @2 and @68– we need to acknowledge Coop and Chief and their comments on Ozzie and Dansby. The two young infielders may have silenced most of their critics, but our stalwart contributors are unwilling to resort to cowardly silence and instead acknowledge the possibility of misjudgment. Bravo.

  46. Wisler 64 pitches through 5 innings. I’m too lazy to check, but that’s got to be the lowest pitch count through 5 we’ve had all year, isn’t it?

  47. @72, acknowledged

    hopefully ozzie and dansby continue playing well for the rest of their atlanta tenure

  48. A lot of quality crow being consumed. Good on you, gents.

    Does Chip make more mistakes than your average announcer? I believe Cowherd when he says that baseball fans irrationally eat their own. What’s the amount of mistakes the average ball fan will tolerate? 0?

  49. @76, There’s nothing irrational about harsh criticism of Chip and his non-talent at his profession. I hear lots of other terrible talents behind the mic around the league, and I hear a lot that are better. I think we can be trusted to evaluate our announcers without “eating them.”

  50. I’ve reached the point that Chip doesn’t bother me much at all, but I much prefer Jim Powell.

  51. Alright, break it down for me. What is the criteria for a good announcer? And like I said, what’s the comfort level on mistakes? These are legitimate questions.

  52. Jim Powell is great. Wish he was on the TV crew. I also like his understudy, Ben Ingram. It’s a damned shame those guys, who are pros, are kept down. They could become as “beloved” as the ones in the big time who are perceived to be beloved. But what can you do?

  53. @79,

    • a voice for radio
    • the gift of gab
    • broad knowledge of the sport’s rules, history, intricacies
    • good vocabulary

    It helps to be creative, to have some flair, some humor, but while those are nice they’re not essential. Give me boring but competent every time.

    Ex-jocks are a different story. All they really need is good stories and insights, and those will go a long way if they’re paired with someone capable of being a pro.

  54. How about that Wisler!!! He keeps putting a sterling game up occasionally. He’s got ability if he could just stay aggressive and get some consistency. He is working his way into being a decent trade asset. I sure wish the Toddfather was hitting HRs for us.

  55. Teheran and Wisler have obviously decided that they are going to throw sliders a LOT more, with good results so far.

    I wonder if that, along with Folty’s changeup, is part of AA using analytics to point out underused quality pitches in our pitchers’ arsenals.

  56. Chief, I have to admit that I’ve gained some respect for you based on your willingness to look at the facts and admit that you may be wrong on Albies and Suzuki. Here’s hoping that you and the rest of baseball is wrong about Wisler. He looked pretty dang good tonight.

  57. We should do a Braves Journal night at STP… in October!

    No, no, I’m just kidding. But it’s nice to be winning right now.

    I do hope we see Biddle.

  58. Well, Sims is not off to a great start. Although it is somewhat ironical to whom he gives up a HR.

  59. I just don’t know what good it is doing to be jockeying these guys between relieving and starting and AAA and MLB. I get it, you have a bunch of former SP prospects. Either trade them, or just leave them in AAA to be SPs. Seeing Wisler throw 7 strong and Sims eat it in relief is pretty eye-opening that they may not be handling these guys the best way they can.

  60. I would think they’re planning to use Biddle in the 9th in the truest of blowout situations.

  61. Austin Riley, typically a slow starter, has a 1.259 OPS in his first 49 ABs this year for AA. Things could get interesting with him.

  62. Late-inning defensive substitutions included Flaherty at 1B, Camargo at 3B, and Bourjos in LF. That is some significant defensive reinforcements we’ve not seen in many years. When Acuna arrives, you’ll have Bourjos then replacing Kakes, having 3 CFs in the OF and 3 SS in the INF. And a superior defender at 1B should Flaherty play 1B.

  63. We’re in the thick of daily minor league games across all levels, so there’s a SP prospect throwing a gem every night now. Tonight it was Wentz throwing 5 IP, 0 ER for A+.

  64. You don’t think Culberson gets optioned? We can’t have Tucker as the only backup, could we?

  65. Culberson is out of options. He has experience in the OF. Acuna can play CF if needed. And I think the team prefers to have 2 backup IFs.

  66. What was not to love about tonight’s game? We beat the Mets. We beat Matt Harvey. Bravos kept on hitting. Surprise, surprise, Matt Wisler. We beat the Mets. Freddie not missing a beat after last night’s scare. Beautiful play by Camargo. Okay, Lucas Sims wasn’t all that great. But we beat the Mets.

  67. This season might be miserable like the last few by June. But at least this team is fun!

    Tonight is the same way. Matt Wisler is still just a guy. But beating the pants off the Mets on a random Thursday in April is better than losing.

  68. Our starting pitchers have been on a roll.

    I disagree with Rob. If guys like Simms can show they are better than Jackson, let them pitch out of the pen.

  69. The Braves may still be teasing us and crash and burn at some point, but the start to this season is much different than others because :
    1) We are beating good teams and playing consistent ball
    2) Our run differential is impressive
    3) While several players will definitely regress, some will improve. Our offense is reasonably sustainable
    4) If a pitcher or 2 struggles, we have minor league talent that should be ready to come in and help.
    5) Our defense is good and it will only get better with Acuna.
    6) Our bullpen hasn’t been bad but it is shaky and not as sustainable as other areas. This is the most fixable aspect we have given a few minor trades
    7) We should have money to spend to upgrade needed areas.

  70. I just don’t know what good it is doing to be jockeying these guys between relieving and starting and AAA and MLB. I get it, you have a bunch of former SP prospects. Either trade them, or just leave them in AAA to be SPs. Seeing Wisler throw 7 strong and Sims eat it in relief is pretty eye-opening that they may not be handling these guys the best way they can.

    Rather than making this kind of an interference from the outcome of one game, you could look at the entire history of calling up starter prospects — or, more accurately for Sims, failing/failed starter prospects — to pitch in the bullpen and make a more informed judgment.

    It’s easy to cherry-pick in the other direction…we all remember the success of Adam Wainwright or Wade Davis. Lucas Sims is not close to those guys. Overall, I imagine it tends to be the case that if the pitcher is talented, he’ll succeed in whatever role, and way more likely in the bullpen than as a starter.

  71. @126,

    3) While several players will definitely regress, some will improve. Our offense is reasonably sustainable

    Eh. We’ll see…

    We’re also reasonably healthy. And Acuna is a reason in and of himself.

    Thanks, Coppy!

  72. One specific problem that can be addressed by calling a guy up to start his career in the bullpen is it can help pitchers gain confidence against major league hitters in a more controlled environment. Some of our prospects who have struggled as starters have tried to nibble, looking like they’re afraid to challenge guys in the first inning. Coming out of the pen, you don’t have to conserve your energy. So to the extent that that’s a mental thing, it can help them get over it.

    I don’t believe that the team will keep hitting THIS well, and I don’t believe that Tucker and Flaherty and Neck will keep hitting like this — though Tucker could lose 100 points of OPS and still be a valuable bench piece and pinch hitter — but I think we’ve seen enough to know that Albies, Swanson, and Freeman are capable of being the core of a playoff-bound team, whether it’s this year or next year. Inciarte will probably come around with the bat and Acuna will likely be a positive contributor this year (though I think it’s probably reasonable to expect him to hit more like Albies did last year).

    This team has the best future of any Braves team since the one that got blown up in 2014, and it arguably has an even better core of under-25 talent. (That wasn’t clear at the time, though, because no one knew that Heyward would forget how to hit.)

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