Braves 11, Mutts 0 (yet again)

I’m sure you’re already aware of the incredible whipping the Braves just put on the Mets in the last three games. The Bravos swept the series, outscoring them 22-2, and taking the division lead by a game and a half. Today was the Julio Teheran show. Six days ago we were wondering if his career may be close to over. Today we hung on every pitch following his very real shot at a no hitter. He took the no-no into the 7th, and Biddle and Fried finished the shutout. Teheran is figuring out how to pitch with a fastball in the high 80’s, occasionally reaching 91. He won’t have results like today very often, but the Julio we saw today can be successful. At the plate, Teheran had as many hits as he gave up; he went 2 for 2 with an rbi on a sac fly and a sac bunt.

And oh yeah, the offense was explosive once again, with 11 runs on 15 hits, including dingers from Markakis, Suzuki, Albies, and Acuña. Ronald’s went about 600 feet with an exit velocity of 200 mph.

We got three dominating performances by starting pitchers in this series. I don’t know whether Mike “Strike Whisperer” Soroka will stay with the big club. I think he’s earned it based on Tuesday’s start, but his effect on the rest of the staff is just as important.

Throughout this afternoon’s game, I was driving on a long road trip. For the first time in years, my only source of information about a Braves game during the game was the radio. Even when I listen to the radio broadcast (which I do a fair amount—I’m a fan of Jim Powell), I have my iPhone or a computer with me, on which I check the gamecast and box score regularly. If I tune out for a few minutes, I go back and catch up on what I missed. And I usually track the comments on Braves Journal throughout the game. As much as I was tempted to look at my phone while I was driving, I resisted the temptation. At one point, I think about the 6th inning when the no hitter possibility was starting to become real, I was really wondering how many pitches Julio had thrown. I almost reached for my phone to sneak a peek. As there were several 18 wheelers surrounding me on I-95, I kept my hands off the phone. Fortunately, Powell almost immediately commented on how efficient Julio had been, and that he had only thrown 67 pitches. Thanks, Jim—you may have saved my life.

Really listening to the radio—and not having any other source of information– took me back to my childhood. For the first 12-15 years of my Braves fandom, the radio was the only way to follow a game in real time. I wouldn’t trade the information accessibility we have 21st century, but I can get quite nostalgic about the radio days of the 1960’s. Rob has often pointed out parallels between this year’s young and promising squad and the magical 1991 team, and Jonathan F each week tells us what was going on in 1966, the first Atlanta season. Today, listening to the radio brought back strong memories of the 1969 season. That team wasn’t predicted to win the division, but they got off to a strong start. After 30 games they were 21-9 and had a 3 game lead. They played about .500 ball from that point until the end of August, at which point they were 3 games out, but a strong September led to clinching the pennant the final weekend.

Be careful about strong starts. The 1970 team was 18-12 after 30 games; they finished the season with 76 wins. You probably remember the 2014 team; they started 17-7 and finished with 79 wins.

But I choose to believe in this team. The young talent is as exciting as any I’ve seen in all my years of following the Braves.

Friday, at home against the Giants, we’ll see if Folty is also under the sway of the Strike Whisperer. If so, look for another dominating start.

125 thoughts on “Braves 11, Mutts 0 (yet again)”

  1. Great recap.

    I like that game 70 marker in deciding who this team is. If we’re in mid-June still playing well, more struggling teams will emerge as trade partners and we’ll be connected to every team’s Bumgarner or Archer or whomever.

  2. Nicely done, tfloyd. I miss two games (about to board a redeye back East) and the opposition doesn’t score once! And a nice shoutout to 1969… if the playoff series that year hadn’t soured my taste for reality it might have surpassed 1966 in my affections. (Although I admit 1995 and 1991 have to come 1-2.)

  3. Really good to see scoreless innings from Biddle and Fried. The Muts were pretty kicked puppies by then, but a deeper pen adds another dimension to this team.

  4. @5

    I don’t know; that combined with Gosselin being added to Gwinnett and somewhat of home-stand starting tomorrow…was wondering if they were going to bring him up.

    Because obviously, a .386 slugging percentage at AAA screams MLB cleanup hitter.

  5. They are basically putting Bautista through a spring training. Heard from an AA interview that Bautista is playing once every two games at the moment and his defence at third base is exceeding his expectation.

  6. I think we will eventually need more bullpen help but I believe in this team too. AA has built a solid bench to provide depth to survive the season.

  7. I think we see Bautista today. Here’s my reasoning:

    1. Braves claimed Gosselin knowing that they don’t need Culberson on the MLB roster.
    2. Goose has options therefore he can be up when they feel then need an extra guy (like Dansby’s day to day injury).
    3. Bautista wasn’t in yesterday’s AAA lineup
    4. Bautista has an .881 OPS in his last 38 PAs after going 0-6 in a double header. IMO, this is the small sample they needed to see.
    5. Also, Culberson received a start yesterday which could’ve been a parting gift or a last ditch effort to showcase him.

  8. @4 – Given the revamped pitching staff after the Strike Whisperer, Allard’s 2 walks in 7 innings would be unacceptable for this team. It sounds like he is a long way away from the majors.

  9. The Atlanta Braves
    have no further need of saves
    their run differential
    having gone far beyond the essential.

  10. On this 4th day of May, let us accept finally that this team is actually good. Having accepted that, now let’s also accept that they are incredibly young. Having just won 5 in a row, they could easily do the same in the other direction. Let’s no longer be quick to declare them a bad team, because they’re not. They’re young, and most young players are streaky. Everyone is playing so well right now all at the same time.

    This concludes your Braves Service Announcement (BSA)…

  11. @14, “Everyone is playing so well right now all at the same time.”

    That’s why they’re probably going to go back to being the “bad” or at least “mediocre” team we thought they were going to be, at least until another hot streak when our wild mood swings once again declare them World Series bound. It’s a long season that’s barely 20% over yet. We still don’t truly know what we have yet. It’s been a nice ride so far, we can all agree on that!

  12. tfloyd, appreciate the shout out to radio days. I became a Braves fan in 1969 (and an O’s fan, too, so you might be able to guess how I feel about the Shmets). Where I grew up, all I had was CBS Radio. TBS was a godsend, but for about 10 years it was CBS Radio and the occasional Game of the Week (aka Aaron’s 715th). And all I had for stats were daily newspapers and bubble gum cards.

    While there is nostalgia, I’ll have to say the days of Internet, sabermetrics, and blogs is a lot of fun.

  13. What Rob says is right, At some point, a hot streak statistically starts to change expectations. There is a difference between being hot and having unrecognized talent that can’t statistically be predicted. We all knew and know that this team had far more potential than 72 wins. We couldn’t be sure, and still aren’t, but the more they play well, the more they can be predicted to play well in the future. And, yes, they also need a cold streak to properly establish a baseline, but one can hope that never comes.

  14. All you need to know about baseball streaks is that the Mets started the year 11-1.

  15. @18 I think the Shmets are still in second place with a good record.

    I just ran across another interesting tidbit for all you baseball fans. The Braves lead the majors in one other category – use of post-TJS pitchers. Braves have used 11 this year not including the two on the DL. That’s about half the pitchers that have appeared this year. Kinda scary.

    So why, again, did we trade Alex Wood?

  16. I’m pretty sure Albies isn’t going to hit 50 HR. We’re going to go through some cold streaks. If the pitching can hold up we’ll be in the mix though. That’s all anyone could ask for this year.

  17. Players playing above their heads:

    -Newcomb and Folty (per ERA, at least)
    -The sub-2 ERA quartet of Vizzy, Carle, Winkler, and Minter
    -Spot starter spot. You can’t possible expect guys to shuttle back and forth between AAA and outdo how good Wisler and Anibal have been

    -Dansby’s .766 OPS may be a little bit underperforming, but not much
    -Culberson (he’s not a .438 OPS)
    -“Backup” catcher – Flowers, Perez, Stewart all underperforming
    -The ROOGY
    -Maybe Sam Freeman’s 4.38 ERA is underperforming, but as the 6th spot in the pen, that’s really not that bad.

    So, we have an imbalance.

  18. By the way, does it not seem a little odd that Anibal was considered to be the long man/5th starter if needed but Wisler wasn’t? They both had 2 starts, Wisler pitched more IP/GS, and Anibal’s FIP (3.62 vs. 4.77) wasn’t so remarkably better than he would deserve to get innings in a season like this vs. a 25-year old former top prospect. I got killed on Twitter being a Wisler apologist, but it’s like our fans don’t know Anibal is 14 IP removed from a 6.41 ERA in 105 IP for Detroit last year, and if given the choice between two bad options, why not use Wisler?

  19. @18, 19 Unlike the Braves (who are finally on a streak), the Mets are 6-11 outside of their 11-1 streak.

    I actually don’t care for win streaks. 5 in a row? Fine. Just don’t lose this next series.

  20. @21 Rob, I think you’re mostly right, but I also think there’s an alternate point to be stated. For Ozzie, Acuna, Winkler, Minter, Newcomb, and maybe even Folty, do you really know where their “head” is? How do you know they’re playing above it? They haven’t really established a career baseline. That is exactly wherein lies the possibility that regression may be minimal. Also, if the Braves come up with reinforcements when others start regressing (like a 3B upgrade), we may be able to stave off the regression.

  21. Co-sign @ 20. Some regression/ streakiness from the offense is probably inevitable. We won’t keep winning at a .621 clip. But even with some regression we should still be pretty solid. If we can get consistently decent to better-than-decent starting pitching, this could be an 87-win team. Big if of course but there is reason to be encouraged.

  22. @24

    The advantage we have as a lineup is that we’re incredibly deep. If a couple of our guys fall into a slump, Flaherty comes back to earth, Bautista falls flat, etc., the lineup thins out quite a bit. We have the best lineup in baseball, and you’re just not going to see this break-neck pace. We’re out-performing the Yankees, Astros, Dodgers, etc. We’re not going to continue to do that.

    The bullpen top 4 is definitely unsustainable. They’re on a 5.5 fWAR pace. That’s not going to happen.

    You make a good point about Folty. Fangraphs has him at .4 fWAR through 6 starts, so they have him at a 2 fWAR pitcher for 30 starts. I can see him exceeding that, but that highlights how misleading his ERA is. His FIP is a full run higher because he’s bottom-fourth in walks. And our defense is really good, so we may be able to keep up these ERAs, but only Julio has an elite BABIP. I think we’re simply seeing a rising of the tide based on a 25-man roster that is collectively performing admirably well, but a few cinks in the armor and it can easily change.

    Like I said, let’s just enjoy it.

  23. And there it is:

  24. Fangraphs:

    [Trevor] Bauer says he has tested pine tar in a lab setting and said it significantly increased his spin rate. He claims it has a greater effect than steroids on performance.

    “I’ve melted down Firm Grip and Coca-Cola and pine tar together,” Bauer told reporters Wednesday. “I’ve tested a lot of stuff. At 70 mph, when we were doing the tests, spin rates jumped between 300–400 rpm while using various different sticky substances. The effect is slightly less pronounced at higher velocities — more game-like velocities — but still between 200–300 rpm increase.”

    As many in this audience are aware, the greater the fastball spin rate, the more “rise” effect the pitch has, the more it resists gravity, the more swing-and-miss it generates. More spin equals more swing-and-miss.”

    Linky dinky.

  25. They’ll either DL Swansbo or release Culberson. Long term, Culberson’s gone. Gosselin at AAA makes him redundant.

  26. Looks like Bautista will also play some 1B. He’ll have plenty of playing time playing 3B and 1B against lefties. Maybe he gives Markakis a day off against lefties, shifting Acuna to RF. We are problematically left-handed in the corners with Tucker, Kakes, Freeman, and Flaherty all LHBs. We’re starting to mirror the Astros, Cubs, and Dodgers with this much versatility.

  27. Even after Culberson gets the eventual DFA, we may very well have one of them fancy 40-man roster crunches after all.

  28. Here’s a little exercise I’ve been wanting to do and I think it had interesting results.

    Player WOW (Jan) Roger (Jan) Fangraphs
    (Realistic) (current plus pred)
    Flowzuki 5 (3) 4 1.9
    Freeman 6 (4.5) 6 5
    Ozzie 4.5 (2.6) 3 3.2
    Dansby 3.2 (1.5) 1.5 2.5
    (w/Flaherty) 3 (2) 2 1.7
    Markakis 2 (1) 1 2.1
    Acuna 5 (2) 3 2.1
    Enciarte 4 (3) 3.5 2.5
    Bench 0 0 1.1
    Starting Pit 16.3 (10) 12 10.4
    Bullpen 4.2 (2) 4 3.6
    Total Off 32.7 (19.6) 24 22.3
    Total Pit 20.5 (12) 16 14.1
    Team Total 53.2 (31.6) 40 36.4
    Predicted Wins 99 (77-78) 86-87 82

    I apologize for the formatting. What this tells me is that the team is beginning to perform to our most optimistic estimates of what they could do. I think Fangraphs will catch up after the aforementioned 70 games or so. And we need more from our catchers (Flowers) and starting pitchers to be a legitimate playoff team. And Acuna needs to perform like a Rookie of the Year. And there will be times when Freddie will have to carry the team.

    By the way, according to Fangraphs our best performing defenders to date are Dansby and Markakis (!!).

  29. There was a post on r/baseball a few days ago that showed that UZR was negatively correlated with team wins since 2008.

    I should have saved it for Chief.

  30. I’m not sure why we would call Bautista up now. This group is killing the ball. He wasn’t really.

  31. He’s basically replacing Culberson. There’s like zero downside here. Unless AA gives him 400 ABs where he totally sucks…which just ain’t gonna happen.

  32. He’s replacing Culberson. Tucker is being optioned only until Swanson is healthy, at which point Tucker will be recalled and Culberson will be DFA’d.

  33. @33 – Unless he’s hurt, Freddie should be ceding playing time to no one.

    I hope AA doesn’t get too cute with this.

  34. @42

    Exactly. Because if you need a corner OF right now, Bautista can be that, and Flaherty/Camargo can man middle INF and 3B. That also tells me they’re viewing Bautista in at least a mild utility role.

  35. For perspective, everyone should stop and realize you’re arguing about which player you want to see on the field. As opposed to the last few years of arguing “is there any way to get Danny Santana off the field?!”

  36. Over/Under on number of games until Bautista goes 0-4 with 3 Ks and a costly error? 7.5 Games.

    My true hope is that if Braves’ success continues this year they make a mid-season trade for an Adrian Beltre rental. Love that guy.

  37. This Jose Bautista move is a small but not-unimportant first test for AA in my mind.

  38. I agree that it’s an important test, but first test? We’ve had the Kemp/McCarthy trade, the Tucker acquisition, the Carle acquisition, the Flaherty and Bourjos signings, the Carlos Perez moves, the Lane Adams DFA, the various promotions and demotions…

  39. @46 – if there’s a health concern or he goes into a slump, sure, but I wouldn’t just do it to do it, and certainly not to get Bautista additional AB’s.

  40. In the end, if Bautista can at least come off the bench and hit a few fastballs into the Chop House late in the game, I’ll be happy.

    Honestly, I think he is a guy who can 14-20 ABs a week and be a plus for us. He should play about as much as Suzuki.

  41. I mean “first test” in the sense of, AA may get to show for the first time how quickly he’ll cut bait on:
    – a bad idea in general
    – someone who represents his own past success
    – someone in whom he’s probably very personally invested

    Who knows, he may just have the magic touch right now and this will be a non-issue.

  42. Kris Medlen makes his first start for AZ today.
    Mike Minor is 3 and 1 with Texas.
    Are we in regret mode?
    I don’t think so.
    Still, good news.

  43. @47

    Camargo, likewise, always.

    As long as we fail to do this how can we formulate a power comparison at third when Riley heats up again. We must be really careful here that with two girls to take to the dance we don’t end up going home alone.

  44. @51: Watching Adrian Gonzalez play for the Mets reminded me that he is the Braves’ highest paid player. And he certainly came through for us in this last series: 1 GIDP, 2 SO, 0 RBI. But at least we’re not still paying Bobby Bonilla. And our third highest paid player, Scott Kazmir, hasn’t done much to hurt us either.

  45. Thanks Preston for carrying us the first couple weeks of the season, now here’s bus fare to Gwinnett. Huh?

  46. @36

    DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) is the component of WAR that BBRef uses. UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) is the component of WAR that Fangraphs uses.

    While the relationship isn’t strong in either direction, a correlation of -0.12 suggests (under the UZR system) that a team with better defense will lose more games.

    Yep. Period.

  47. 60—Again, it’s just for a couple of days, and it’s just because he has options, and other guys don’t. He’ll be back soon and Culberson will be DFA’d. He’s not even going to be down long enough to miss a full year of MLB service.

    55—I see. Yeah, I agree with all of that. I’d love it if they’d not even pretend he’s going to be the everyday guy and already announce that he and Camargo will be in a platoon.

  48. Optioning Tucker makes no sense at all. If you’re gonna DFA Culberson you might as well do it now. Tucker is vastly better PH and Bautista is playing IF not OF right now. I think AA is still protecting his “boy”.

  49. I think they want an extra infielder for a few days until Dansby’s wrist feels better.

  50. @65 Unless they think they can trade Culberson. Or maybe the act of sending Tucker down has some bearing on that future PTBNL.

  51. 64—It makes plenty of sense if you actually pay attention to why they’re doing it.

  52. I get the logic, but if Dansby’s wrist is concerning enough to keep Culberson around, I’d rather just DL him and keep Tucker up.

    I can already envision the high leverage PH situation this weekend that Culberson is going to be put into and the likely outcome.

    That said, I can appreciate the change in fortune in that we’re now arguing to this extent about the last guy on the bench.

  53. Culberson and Flowers are the only roster players with negative WAR. Flowers I understand just coming off injury. But Culberson adds nothing in any phase of the game right now. With Bautista as an IF, there is 100% no need for another IF beyond Flaherty and Camargo especially if Dansby can play in an emergency. If Dansby can’t play then DL him – it’s only 10 days. If he can then DFA Culberson. The better move is to DFA Culberson who has negative value as opposed to Tucker who can PH. No good excuse. Right now I’d trust ether Tucker’s bat or Flaherty’s over Bautista.

    I am not sure there is any logic that can get Culberson DFA’d. I bet if they wanted to bring Tucker up, they’d option a pitcher like Fried and then say he needs to go to AAA to get some starts in.

  54. DL Swanson for an unnecessary 7 days because you can’t stand the dropoff from Tucker to Culberson for 1 or 2 days? Are you guys insane?

  55. Having Camargo and Flaherty, who can both play multiple positions, is the reason a team can carry someone like Preston Tucker. There’s no reason anyone can give that makes sense why Culberson is still here.

    Now word is when Dansby’s better, they’ll be another move, preferably Tucker back and Culberson DFA’d but it won’t be that right away as Tucker will have to stay down for 10 days, barring injury.

    In the end, I think we’ll get what we want. Until then, I hope the Braves don’t need a 2nd PHer in a close and late situation.

  56. Tyler Flowers or Kurt Suzuki would be PH2 in a big at bat. Culbertson is the third catcher too.

  57. Here’s the thing. We have an educated crowd here, and it would seem that it’s grown a little bit to be big enough to have a very nuanced, in-depth, but still manageable discussion about all things Barves. I don’t want to hang out on Twitter, but I like certain aspects of Twitter, like the easy sharing of information. So I don’t want to cut Twitter out in the sense that it’s pretty easy to embed a tweet into the comments. Same with YouTube. If it’s an easy as copy-and-pasting a YouTube link into a post or a comment to provide everyone with highlights, then I like that too.

    What I am not attempting to do is overrun the site with a bulky, difficult to load set of stuff, and I feel like that’s what I’m hearing from everyone that I need to be avoiding. But I am also hearing that many here want the site to be entirely text-based and free of any kind of multimedia? Speak now, or forever hold your peace. In the effort towards adding these components, I am working on a mobile version that still works really well over 3G and easy on data and load times.

    Going forward, there will be another theme, and then I think it’s done. I know I’m done. This new theme has allowed me to tinker with what the site can benefit from and find out what will hurt it, and I’ve definitely tried to keep it within the spirit of the site and what the site does well. I agree with whoever said that Talking Chop, frankly, is just way too much: way too many ads, way too many stupid links, way too many stupid… well, there could be a higher ratio of educated fans, I’ll say that. And so it’s not my intent to try to keep up with the Jones’ and put every shiny bell and whistle that a place like Talking Chop has, so I hope my heart is seen on this.

    Thanks for listening.

  58. Not great that Dans is hurt enough to warrant a DL trip. Great that no one’s panties will be in a wad about a couple of games without Preston Tucker.

  59. If the commenters here, who are generally pretty smart and unlikely to spam nonsense (except when this place goes into college football mode, at which point I just tune out for awhile), have some multimedia to share, I’d rather it be embedded for easy access than have to follow every link to another page to check it out. So I don’t really share the complaints or concerns I’ve seen expressed by others. Could it be overdone? Sure, but let’s wait and see if it actually is before complaining about it.

  60. I say embed it. Old fuggers don’t like it, they’ll keel over soon enough…

  61. @85 That’s my thought process. And to be honest, when we have people with such woefully bad thoughts and comments that we just can’t take it anymore, this place has a knack for introducing those people to another blog. With that said, for whatever reason, we just can’t seem to make that happen with Sam. :)

    And yes, if someone starts spamming the place with GIFs, then you’d have to look at putting it back in the box, but I don’t think that’s our crowd.

  62. My guess is that someone will give Matt Harvey an MLB contract. But it won’t be as big of a market as he thinks due to his doucheness.

  63. Freddie Freeman embedded a ball over the left field wall. Jose Bautista embedded one to deep center. Things are looking good.

  64. I’m one of the old fuggers Sam refers to, and although I don’t have long for this world, I’m all for the embeds.

    What distinguishes this site from virtually every other similar site is the intelligence of the commenters. Some of y’all are sometimes wrong but very rarely stupid. Rob, so long as we can stay away from dumb commenters, I say do as you will with twitter, video, etc.

  65. Did anyone else hear Joe’s defense of Bautista’s subpar year last season before his first AB?

    I hoping I missed something, but it sounded like he said he might have hit only .203, but because he was in the lineup nearly every day and the Blue Jays “wanted” him there, it means it actually wasn’t that bad.

  66. That is what Simpson said, that he played in 150-something games last year, so it means he was doing something the Blue Jays liked.

  67. “I’m going to throw it as hard as I can in the general vicinity of the plate and see what happens.” -Folty

  68. I guess it had to happen sometime. If the Braves can overcome this performance by Folty then they really will be a miracle team. Elsewise, every team loses at least 60……

  69. Replay is a pox on every sport it’s involved in. Anyone who supports replay should be shot.

  70. @105

    Uh…except he was very clearly safe, and to not get that call right would’ve been a pretty severe miscarriage of justice. That play is exactly why replay is a good thing. You should at least wait for one involving an overturn on a play where it’s anything but clear or something.

  71. I think I mentioned this before but Bautista’s strikeout numbers last year were unprecedented in his career. 170 total when his average was in the 100-110 range. Did he have an Uggla-esque eye problem that’s been corrected? Or a sudden loss of bat speed? I’ll be interested to see if he goes back to his normal rate of Ks.

  72. I think when we have a better option ready Folty will be sent to the pen. Million dollar arm, ten cent head?

  73. It would have been nice if Neck hadn’t waited until his contract year to hit like this.

  74. Bravesjournal is my one stop shop for all things Braves chatter, and I’m ok with a noteworthy tweet or video.

  75. I can’t understand why they didn’t pinch hit for Folty. He already has 80+ pitches and many of them haven’t been great. Plus he has proven he can’t bunt. We are three runs down after all.

  76. Acuña is 0 for 3 but he’s hit it hard 3 times–and 2 of those were really smoked

  77. @106 – I don’t disagree when we don’t get the call. I hate the entire system. Video review ruins sport. All sport. It takes a human endeavor and turns it into a circus of super-slo motion, hi-def television criticism. If I had my way, every sport on the planet would eliminate all review systems. Videos would be used for nothing but to grade on field umpiring/refereeing and train the people to get things as right as possible. Video makes the perfect the absolute enemy of the good.

  78. Braves hitting into some bad luck tonight … Giants have made some plays .. if Pouty Folty could keep his composure his team mates may make a comeback one of these days .. he is tough to watch .. he is even pouty when he bats .. he has got to get a hold of that or he is headed for a bullpen role . If that … I know people gonna blame it on adding Bautista .and loosing momentum .. balony .. can’t win all of them boys …

  79. I’ve liked Bautistas strike zone recognition, even when he struck out in the second AB, I think he was in a “swing no matter what when 3-2” mode since there were 2 outs and he was trying to launch one instead of walking.

    More worried about Flowers at the moment.

    And as awesome as Ozzie has been, I’m concerned about him and his OBP

  80. @118 I agree. Flowers looks like he’s got no mojo at the plate. I wonder how long it’s going to take to “know” that he just doesn’t have it this year. Catcher has been our weakest position so far even with Kurt hitting well (according to Fangraphs, Carlos Perez was our best defensive catcher).

    I also agree with the point about Ozzie. I was going to say, at some point, that Ender’s OBP is better than Ozzie’s right now. I think that’s a maturity thing for Ozzie. He swings at way too many 1st pitches for a leadoff hitter. As little as Ender walks, he does see a lot of pitches. I do still like the current lineup arrangement. Even in a losing game tonight, I felt this arrangement led to better opportunities. And Ozzie is still the better hitter. If Folty could bunt, things may have been a little different.

    Bautista was OK at 3B but I did wonder if Flaherty or Camargo might have made a better throw home. And I also wonder if any of the infield singles he allowed may have been stopped by a better defender.

  81. Happens. We’ll get ’em today.

    Touki watch: 6IP, 2H, 0R, 10SO

    After a tough first outing, he’s gotten better and better.

  82. Ironic that when, finally, 41, 000 souls fill all nooks and crannies in the Park on a beautiful weekend evening, at the end of a hugely positive road trip, Folty goes Folty as early as the second and draws boos that were fully earned.

    Chip was onto the trigger like a flash – that inside pitch that drew ball four. He called what would follow before it happened. Joe identified the ridiculous stance he adopts for bunts, more boos.

    In the TV series he was the buffoon. Life imitating art.

  83. Ironic that when, finally, 41, 000 souls fill all nooks and crannies in the Park on a beautiful weekend evening, at the end of a hugely positive road trip, Folty goes Folty as early as the second and draws boos that were fully earned.

    Chip was onto it like a flash – that inside pitch called ball four. He called it before it happened. Joe identified the ridiculous stance he adopts for bunts, more boos.

    In the TV series he was the buffoon. Life imitating art.

  84. I wonder if Soroka had a conversation with Folty after his bad 2nd inning. Maybe Soroka can serve as a pitching coach on his off days.

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