Giants 4, Braves 3: Bravda

Bravda:  from the Russian word “pravda,” meaning “truth.”

The Braves piled up 9 hits, chasing Giants starter Andrew Suarez after only 5 1/3 innings.  Conversely, Sam Freeman, Jesse Biddle, Peter Moylan, Dan Winkler, and Arodys Vizcaino all had scoreless outings for the Braves.

One of the Braves hits was a double.

The Braves are now 19 – 14, and hold a 1 game lead in the National League East, having picked up an astounding 26 games from where they were just 34 games ago.

The Giants leave town, undoubtedly as quickly as they can get to the airport, and they will not dare to return to Atlanta this season.

Off Monday, at Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

Author: Rusty S.

Rusty S. is a Braves Journal reader since 2005 and an occasional innings-eater. It was my understanding that there would be no expectations.

139 thoughts on “Giants 4, Braves 3: Bravda”

  1. Brilliant indeed, Rusty. The lack of comments thus far is akin to that of Acuña’s teammates to his first ML home run.

  2. From the last thread, many disagreed with this:

    We could probably trade for an impact player with prospects fans have pretty much given up on: Wisler, Blair, Ruiz, Demeritte, Sanchez, etc. Numbskulls like Chief (kidding) will be amazed when we trade for a 3+ WAR player with table scraps he’s said we should have released.

    I did say in a previous post that guys like Ruiz would be the second- or third-best player in said deal, so yes, you’d have some sort of headliner. And it’s really hard to picture what that deal would look like because you’d probably have to trade away some payroll to make it work, but our only real trade-able payroll are guys in the last year of their deals like Markakis and McCarthy. Rebuilding teams may not want to take on payroll like that, even though we ourselves were rebuilding when we took those players back (and guys like Aybar), so other teams may do the same.

    It’d also have to be an elite player to be an improvement over what we currently have, so that’s pretty much just a #1-2 starter, an elite reliever, or a 4-5+ WAR 3B/corner outfielder. That’s a complicated deal, but something like two elite pitching prospects like Allard and Wentz (one high minors; one low), Ruiz, Sanchez, and Wisler +/- depending on how good the player is. I think we could easily make that deal, and teams would be valuing guys like Ruiz, Sanchez, and Wisler higher than a lot of our fans do. They’d stick Wisler in the rotation, give him 30 starts, and he’d probably have positive value once it was all said and done.

  3. I don’t think we’re trading anyone of note this year. It’s still too early.

    I reserve the right to change my mind if we’re somehow still in 1st place in late July.

  4. I repeat…. Royals.

    Royals: Moustakas and Herrera
    Braves: Markakis (or McCarthy), Wisler, Weigel, and 1-3 prospects in the Braves top 20-30 range + $1M (e.g. Izzy, Tarnok, Jaseel)

    Neither team will want to add payroll. And the most anyone can expect are two 20-30 ranked prospects for a rental. It’s exactly the kind of deal the Braves would have done a couple of years ago for someone like say Justin Upton. We got a TJS Fried, Jace, Dustin and Mallex. The Braves got no major leaguers back because the Padres took on Upton’s salary. Other than TJS Fried, the others are destined to be average or less than average major leaguers and mostly filled holes the Braves had during the rebuild.

  5. Say there’s a team that decides to take the rebuild plunge at the deadline. This team has a superstar player with multiple years of control — obviously, this player isn’t enough to carry his team to contention — at SP, 3B, C or RF.

    That’s the team we try to line up with first, the attempt to identify and trade with this team happens irrespective of our win-loss record, and we’re giving up a huge haul — Touki, Allard, Wentz — to get our guy for more than one year and kick off this team’s rebuild in style.

  6. @6 With the possible exception of JT Realmuto and Brad Hand, I’m not sure there’s anyone out there fitting your description. The guys with control are who their teams will build around and not likely to sell. I think your approach is the exact opposite of what we should do. For this year, we need to add talent as cheaply as possible – rentals – to get through this year. With Riley coming and big money available in FA (Bryce, here we come). The holes we need to fill may be fillable without any sacrifice in the farm. Now we may want to eventually trade for an ace, but we may also develop one too. I think we need to take a wait and see approach to that. I think AA will explore the market for aces over the winter and see if a trade is possible. And we have a very deep pipeline of catching talent coming. Why ignore that to overpay for someone else? There are so many talented relief pitchers on the market that a reasonable trade or FA pickup should be possible over any winter.

    I think the Riley move to AAA is the first step in seeing if he will help this year or if AA will pursue a 3B at the trade deadline. If my idea of Moustakas doesn’t work then Beltre should be a decent target. I’m not sure there are any others that make sense.

  7. Rusty
    not so dusty
    the acerbic mind
    a reminder of what’s been left behind.

    Good on ya’.

  8. Third Base.

    Fifty years or more ago the British car industry with its clutter of venerated brand names that stretched way back in time was in the process of being gobbled up by the Japanese or their brand names sold off to all comers world wide, forming an instant ‘business’.

    Two that defied these odds – they weren’t big enough to attract entrepreneurial attention – were Riley and Austin and thus allowed to rest in peace.

    Until now perhaps. When our friend makes the Show there will still be a few thousand elderly Brits here who catch a sports headline, see those two words together and reminisce.

  9. With the possible exception of JT Realmuto and Brad Hand, I’m not sure there’s anyone out there fitting your description.

    It’s May 7.

    Maybe it works out, maybe it doesn’t. Worth noting that a player doesn’t even have to be a major leaguer yet to fit the description. I hear tell blazon has his eye on a guy in the Reds’ system.

    The guys with control are who their teams will build around and not likely to sell.

    It depends on how much rebuilding there is to do.

    I think your approach is the exact opposite of what we should do. For this year, we need to add talent as cheaply as possible – rentals – to get through this year.

    …It’s May 7. We’re gonna “get through” this year no matter what. This month will tell us more about where we really stand. The one thing we do know already is that we’re moving towards contention. That’s something we can plan around.

    With Riley coming and big money available in FA (Bryce, here we come). The holes we need to fill may be fillable without any sacrifice in the farm.

    Sure. But if the right trade emerges for a 3B, we could trade Riley for something else. Or put him in the outfield where defensively he might be better suited.

    Now we may want to eventually trade for an ace, but we may also develop one too. I think we need to take a wait and see approach to that.

    Or you could have more than one… contending means taking the risk you have in your system and turning it into certainty.

  10. @10 The Reds were a nice idea in the winter but since Senzel is a cornerstone and Suarez is playing SS, they don’t make too much sense. I looked at about every farm system and through every roster for a 3B with control on a team that might sell who had more capability or potential than Riley and couldn’t find anyone. Canderlario could have been had but Detroit just traded for him. Moran could have been had but Pitt got him. I thought JD Davis was a good target but I just don’t see the upside over Riley at this point unless he can be gotten cheap (his defense is not any better and he’s not hitting in the majors much). Andujar seems firmly entrenched in NYY. Brewers are in contention so Shaw is not likely to be had. The best ones on the market are rentals – Moustakas and Beltre. There are a few who hit but hit without power, but we already have that in Camargo. Please anyone on this board name a potential 3B target that might be better than the 6th best 3B prospect in the league – one either in the majors or closer to the majors than Riley (i.e. A/A+ doesn’t count). And I’m sick of hearing about Riley’s defense when he’s generally now rated average or above average by scouts and has a cannon for an arm.

  11. If they call up Allard and/or Gohar and stick them in the rotation for the rest of the season with Soroka, I’m wondering if this year will, despite the good start, more closely resemble 1990 than ’91. When Smoltz, Glavine, and Avery got thrown into the deep end to learn how to swim.

  12. @14 I prefer to expect a competition for rotation spots. It’s musical chairs for starting spots, and whenever someone nails down a spot (“permanently”) that’s one less chair available.

    From where I’m sitting, maybe only one spot is nailed down and has been since before the start of the season. But I think this team should be of the mind to start the best they have, even if it means promoting one guy and demoting another.

  13. I had thought about Brad Hand as well, but 1) the Braves could have just as easily signed him this past offseason (and could just do so with the next Brad Hand next offseason) and 2) the Pads are on their own upswing themselves.

    Agreed that it’s early, and more teams will become sellers. There are 4 half-way decent teams in the NL East. Miami and one of those 4 will sell, and it may be us. Who knows? One of Pittsburgh and Milwaukee will sell, and Cincy will sell too. Two of Arizona, Colorado, San Fran, and San Diego will sell. One or maybe two of Oakland, Seattle, and Texas will sell. Two or maybe three of the teams in the AL Central will sell. And finally, one of Tampa Bay, Baltimore, or Toronto will sell. So there are plenty of teams, but you have no idea who it is right now. In June, the list will be smaller, and in July, the list will be the list.

    We just have to pitch better. We won’t be as unlucky as we were on batted balls as we were this past weekend, and we just simply have to pitch better.

  14. Obviously no spot is “permanent” in the literal sense. If that were the case, then based on his total body of work over the last 5 seasons, Teheran would be permanent, and he’s not. So “permanent” probably means, “can a SP endure a, say, 10 start stretch of ineffectiveness and keep his spot”, and based on that definition, there’s probably nobody locked in.

  15. They are going to have to pick 6 guys and go with them. If they have 2 bad starts in a row you can’t just demote them. You have to be patient and let them learn on the job. This is the biggest risk in “the rebuild”. I don’t know if we have the ability to sit through a 1990-like season, there’s more pressure to win now than there was back then.

  16. Sadly, the comparisons to the early-90’s teams might be a little insufficient. We’re not going to win 65 games like the 1990 team, and we probably aren’t going to win 94 games like ’91. It’s probably more graduated like the Cubs and Astros of these past few seasons, which ain’t bad at all.

  17. @19 It’s about context, though. Some of these guys deserve more rope than others. Some have been stepping closer to that thinner ice and have been around the league longer. Unfortunately, not one of our veterans has such a proven track record that you know, in spite of even a bad stretch, that he will come around and be dependable.

    At the same time, though, I don’t think we let 5 or 6 prospects sink or swim for the year. In fact, doing that doesn’t work for all prospects. I think Glavine, Smoltz, and Avery had the right personality for that scenario, and in fact I think they pushed each other.

  18. So Folty is on thin ice? You realize he’s been our best pitcher so far, right? Who else is on thin ice? They are going to give the ball to Folty, Newcomb, Soroka all year as long as they are healthy. There’s others coming that will push for the other 2 spots.

    Our veteran pitchers won’t be on the team next year, and maybe not after this year’s deadline.

  19. I wouldn’t overreact too much to a bad weekend. We’re 17th in SP fWAR so far this year, and there’s a large enough sample to say that we’re middle-of-the-pack in SP. Sometimes we’re going to have the San Francisco series, and sometimes we’re going to have the Mets series. What’s very encouraging is our pen is getting a little deeper, and we’re still 11th in baseball in RP fWAR while pitching the 5th-most innings (and living to tell about it).

  20. Context, please?

    ATL UTD played a super sloppy, uninspired first half in Chicago Saturday, but still managed to put something together in the second 45 and took 3 hard earned points on the road. Then Man City closed out the deal with a draw at home over the pond. All these things are better than the hammering Folty and Amanda’s boy took up in Marietta.

    United is now two points up for the Supporter’s Shield, with a game in hand. We fully expect Toronto FC to round into shape once they recover from the split duty exhaustion of playing in the CCL and early league action simultaneously. We don’t expect either of the two NY clubs to disappear. But regardless, ATL UTD is currently the benchmark for MLS in every category, stat-nerdy or just straight “scoreboard.” And that’s fun to watch.

  21. As for the Braves and pitching, the only real problem area I see is Foltynewicz. Soroka had a pedestrian second game as a 20 year old. McCarthy is who he is. When Gohara gets called up, send Folty to the pen until you can trade him.

  22. It’s a little puzzling that people seem to parse Teheran and Folty. You never seem to see the same viewpoint on them together, and yet they’re very similar. They have the stuff to be successful, they have not had the success of their potential, and they’re around the same age (Julio is 27, Folty is 26). I just don’t see a marked enough difference between the two to be able to come to such different conclusions about them.

  23. I see a couple of big differences between Julio and Folty, that tend to cancel each other out:
    1. Teheran has had several sustained periods of very effective work in his (much longer) career. That gives you reason to believe he can do it again. Folty has never sustained success for any period in his brief career. Adv Julio.
    2. Teheran’s stuff is not nearly what it used to be, given the decline in his velocity. He’s a savvy pitcher who may be able to pitch well anyway, but it is much tougher. Folty’s stuff is much better; if he ever does harness it, he could be dominant. Adv Folty.

  24. Also, Julio doesn’t come across as an absolute douche-nozzle at every turn.

  25. @32, Some people just can’t get their priorities straight.

    They both have great nicknames. I believe “Tehran” (and by extension “the Ayatollah”) is Smitty’s.

    “Basil” is mine. Folty’s temper may be worse!

  26. @27 Statistically, Newcomb and Folty are our best starters and it’s not very close. And both are pretty much pitching spot on to their FIP and xFIP. Folty had a bad inning, yes, fueled by a poor emotional attitude, but he did recover to pitch a few scoreless innings after. And he has had only the one meltdown this year. Outside of the last outing, what has been inconsistent about Folty’s performance?

    I cringe at every mention of Avery because he was the young one – 19-20 years old – and got burned out so quickly. Here we are with Soroka, Allard, and Gohara and they are so young and their physique is still in development and yet we’re expecting them to take us to the WS next year.

    I’d have to say that core of this staff is currently Teheran, Folty, and Newcomb. You just have to put the heavy lifting on pitchers who are at least 25. It won’t be so bad to have a guy like Anibal hanging around, too, to absorb some spot starts even if all of Soroka, Allard, and Gohara are called up.

  27. Notes from a Thoppy


    Anthopoulos confirmed that we will be looking at Kimbrel at the end of the season as well as any other big money relievers. Although they will be looking into these options, it may not make sense. This will be dependent on what our needs are and where we are in terms of spending at that time.

    Off-Season Spending

    When asked about our off-season spending, Anthopoulos said that the Braves have plenty of money. Terry McGuirk, Braves CEO, told Anthopoulos to not worry about the press and don’t worry about salary; decide who you think will be a good move and we will do it. Anthopoulos explained that he doesn’t see the Braves building like the Yankees in terms of spending. He sees us as a mid-size market.

  28. @36 I read that TC synopsis and it says nothing about nothing. Sure you can spend all the money you want as long as it’s not too much. Sure we’re looking at Kimbrel, but if he’s too expensive then, nope, lots of other fish in the pond. (my opinion – better to let Minter to develop into the next Kimbrel) Neck’s a great leader; why would we ever want to trade him, heaven forbid. We have two guys that are great fielders and hitting well, but Bautista’s my boy (and so is Charlie, too). Not trading prospects for UTIL or 4th OF – right out of the magazine, Duh. Says nothing about trading for 3-4 WAR players as rentals especially if it doesn’t cost “prospects” in the 1-20 sense.

    What a load of slop/nothing/happy talk/weasel words. I think we usually got better than that from Coppy.

  29. #BringBackCoppy?

  30. Thoppy has a lot of tough decisions. And when I think I’m hearing from all of this is that they’ll throw enough pitchers at the problem until it’s solved. His hint of Gohara in the pen could be big. Get it?

  31. I have no idea why many of you are even fans of this team. You clearly have no faith in them to actually build a winner.

  32. His hint of Gohara in the pen could be big. Get it?

    Gives new meaning to “huge shit coming out of the bullpen!”

  33. I guess they are figuring if our rotation has no more room, then we can use Gohara as a late inning reliever. He has a limited arsenal anyway.

  34. Touki Toussiant would be another guy like that, too. Great fastball and curveball.

  35. I’m not snarking about #truefan. I honestly have no idea why someone would follow a team if they felt that team had no intention of ever trying to compete.

  36. Sam,

    Until they prove that they are willing to sign a Tier 1, Compensation Pick eligible FA, I will not believe that they are trying to compete.

    Anything short of this is just further rearranging of Liberty Media’s deck chairs and praying that the farm ‘pans out’.

    This offseason will be true testament of whether we are in or out. Thoppy’s statements above don’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence although I know that’s just coach speak to some degree.

  37. Folty has never had enough command to inspire confidence that he can ever be reliable. His stuff is great but is he really going to learn at age 26 to control his fastball the way Mike Soroka can at age 20?

  38. Although I’d personally enjoy getting the inside scoop on Thoppy’s thinking on trades, free agents, etc., I don’t expect him to share that thinking with the public, nor do I think it’s in the team’s interest to share too much of that information.
    I have no problem criticizing his actions if I disagree; I’d just rather reserve judgment until they take action (as opposed to reacting to these kind of comments).

  39. It’s totally rational to want the team to win, but worry that ownership isn’t fully committed to winning.

    Now there’s not much that we can do about the ownership, so perhaps it’s a misplaced worry…I’ll grant that.

  40. With the exception of the tear-down/rebuild years, Liberty Media has averaged about 12th in league payroll. The going assumption that they will magically become Jeff Loria’s Marlins is utterly misplaced.

  41. So do we think that ownership is going to pocket the difference and cuff the Braves to a sub-100 million payroll going into next season? That would actually be a reduction in team payroll–are we thinking they plan to reduce payroll?

    I would think that with the new stadium and such, there is new revenue to bolster payroll. When AA says we’re not going to build like the Yankees, I don’t take it to mean we’re not signing Bryce Harper (he already wears a Braves cap under his Nationals cap, so hey), but we aren’t planning to sign 3 of the league’s best sluggers in one offseason.

  42. The Braves have a 120 million dollar payroll THIS YEAR. I fully expect them to have a 125-150 million dollar payroll going forward.

  43. I have never said I thought the Braves were not being honest when they say payroll will be around $120-$130M and they will have $30M-$50M to spend. Both of those sound plenty generous and allow for a Bryce signing along with a few other small ones. Like Donny says, there should be no expectation that they’ll sign three premier players. And I don’t think they will increase payroll this year by a single dollar, but that doesn’t eliminate all moves.

    I agree with Chief that, so far, AA and Liberty have been moving around the deck chairs. That’s what the Kemp trade was. And they have been rolling through the scraps to see what sticks. And I see AA giving his home boys a lot of playing time. Culberson with his wRC+ of 28 is just getting more starts as opposed to getting the boot. At least Bautista’s wRC+ is close to Flaherty’s so far. There hasn’t been a single move that screams “let’s be competitive now”. That’s being taken care of by a lot of BABIP from the current squad. We have to wait and see if AA can come up with a deadline deal that scores some talent for the rest of the year and then make the big moves in the offseason.

    Gohara and Fried are the kind of pitchers that can help in the bullpen and be starters later. High power fastballs and strike throwers (hopefully). I am not sure Gohara is ready to come back, though.

    I, for one, have been a Braves fan for longer than many of you have been alive. I want to see them win and am frustrated when I see obvious holes with nearly as obvious fixes that take so long to play out. And I also hate to see obviously wrong moves, too. But I also love to be proven wrong myself when the Braves win. I think the Giants series is an example of team chemistry getting affected by Dansby’s injury and Bautista’s arrival. And I don’t mean personalities or anything but defense and lineup progression just didn’t work anytime in the series.

    I also happen to think our starters are pretty good right now with potential for better. If any of Gohara, Allard, and/or Fried can get it all together, that’s a plenty big infusion of talent to the rotation. And we should be able to buy a little bullpen help (in a salary neutral way).

  44. I’d argue that bringing committed payroll forward to free up more financial space for next year (what the Kemp trade was about) is more useful than just moving deck chairs.

  45. Calling the Kemp/Gonzalez+McCarthy trade “moving deck chairs” is just dumb. First off, one of the “deck chairs” is a perfectly fungible MLB starter who is giving us innings that would be otherwise taken up by Max Fried, Full Time Fifth Starter this year. Second, as Grst notes @55, taking the $16mil owed Matt Kemp next year and paying it to Adrian Gonzalez and Scott Kazmir this year actually gives the team an extra $16 million to spend next year.

    Or the difference between 2018’s version of Nick Markakis 2014 (league average placeholder OF at 12-15 mil) and, well, you know, offering Harper $30 mil per.

  46. If overall the plan was to get dead money off the books, the most efficient way to do so would have been to tank a couple seasons while the BJ/Uggla/etc contracts played out. Field a team of Joey Terds for two seasons. Maximize the value of the Kimbrel trade. Go into 2018 with a fresh slate and more assets than we have now.

    There’s no way I can give these guys credit for continuously kicking the can down the road with the repeated bad contracts swaps. Our 25-man roster’s payroll is $79M. The rest is dead money that could’ve been cleared much much faster.

    But it’s a new administration. Those are sins of the past. I get it.

  47. @58 Ain’t that a laugh? Braves handled the Phillies reasonaby well and swept the Mets. Giants just destroyed the Braves and are now getting demolished by the Phillies. Baseball is a cruel and unusual game.

  48. @60 Exactly what I was thinking. I think baseball teams are highly susceptible to matchups. Every year, some 60-win team beats the snot out of some playoff team for no good statistical reason. Somehow the hitting approach or pitching approach just merges – it’s like a biorhythm or harmonic or something. I realize neither the Giants nor the Braves are 60-win teams, but it really felt like they were going to own us. As long as we can “own” everyone else in our division, we’ll be OK.

  49. @57 Maybe moving deck chairs is not a good metaphor. The trade was an absolutely great trade in context. But it was a trade that eliminated a liability as opposed to launching us to competitiveness. It was a good first step, but it felt like an inside job considering it came with his former organization. Before I think they’re ready to launch us forward in a big way, I’m waiting for an independent move that has nothing to do with players or executives that AA has known before.

  50. Our own Ryan C is celebrating the birth of his second child tonight. Congrats Ryan!!

  51. Matt Adams with two more home runs. Good for him. Still stings, that we just released him. I know, we didn’t have a position for him to play regularly. Still.

  52. Congrats Ryan. I can remember the night/morning Seat Painter, Jr. was born. And he’s graduating from UNC-Asheville on Saturday. Doesn’t seem possible. Enjoy the kiddos, because they’ll be adults before you know it.

  53. @63

    Ryan C
    postpone the count to three
    enjoy the dual domestic view
    rest up and note you’ve had a few.

  54. Hannabel

    Our collective memory is apparently short. It was only a week or two ago someone- profoundly- proposed giving him a lifetime contract – to pitch as needed in the pen, spot starts etc but this all secondary to his proven veteran Spanish speaking veteran presence mentoring Julio and others- he would then join the coaching staff..See the results to date for yourselves.

    I think it fair to say that this proposal back then received a level of support.

    My point is this. When you guys are bundling trade packages of our second tier pitching to obtain some unknown stud EXCLUDE HIM. He holds special value for us and is not to be packaged as a commodity. Thank you.

  55. 69—Been a while since I’ve thought about Willie Harris R. Thanks for the laugh!

    Kids are the best. Congrats to the Cs.

  56. All GM’s exploit relationships they already have with other organizations. There’s a reason Coppy traded with the Angels so much. (They’d return his calls.)

  57. Today’s AFLAC trivia question…name 5 current Devil Rays players without using Google.

  58. Is that a trick question because of the “Devil” part?

    Chris Archer, Jake Faria, Blake Snell, Matt Duffy, Adeiny Hechevarria, Carlos Gomez, C.J. Cron, Wilson Ramos, MALLEX SMITH…

    They’ve even got this guy named Johnny Field, how cool is that?

  59. Blake Snell
    Chris Archer
    Everyday Jonny Venters
    Kevin Keirmaier
    That Other Guy

  60. Mallex

    Fair to say there were no great tears when he went? General long term conjecture – fourth outfielder, pinch runner etc.

    Wrong, right?

  61. Johhny Venters
    Billy Wag had said the ball rarely enters
    the purview of the hitter
    who’s still quite convinced he’d somehow missed a sitter.

  62. I’m taking my dad to the Trop today to see the Braves/Devil Rays game. Never been before so any advice about arriving and/or getting tickets? I just checked StubHub. I don’t normally sit facing the LF sidelines but there’s some cheap tickets there and, I mean, it’s Ronald Acuna, Jr.

  63. John, we live a few minutes from the Trop and go to a few-several games a year (including tonight and tomorrow, of course!), so I can definitely give you some useful info when I get back to my computer.

  64. I know we’re all having fun with this, but Mallex is currently hitting .330/.413/.418 (136 OPS+) w/ 8 stolen bases while playing center field. Raines produced 136 OPS+ only 5 times in his career, and he played left field. Mallex also has 2 triples in 105 PAs, which would put him a 600 PA pace to match Raines’ career high. If you remember, we did settle in on a Kenny Lofton comp, and he’s basically splitting the difference.

    Listen, it’s not Mallex’s fault he’s played behind Ender and KK. And when he’s been given significant playing time, he’s a 3.5-4 WAR guy. He’s currently on pace for 5.5 WAR this year if he could get 600 PAs. So shut it.

  65. Mallex is currently hitting .330/.413/.418 (136 OPS+)

    So is Ryan Flaherty.

  66. John, the Trop experience is actually quite easy because, ya know, people don’t come. The main entrance off 375 is probably your easiest entrance, but you could go all the way around the stadium and find easy parking.

    There’s not a bad seat in the house, but there’s not a good one either. I would have no problems sitting in left field, and I may very well today. I’m not sure if there’s a delta on ticket prices on StubHub, but if there is, definitely grab them. I usually just buy them when I walk up. The centerfield bar is pretty cool if you’re into that.

    Before the game, Ferg’s is your big hang out spot if you care to try to find some other Braves fans. It’s north of the stadium on Central Ave, and you can walk to the stadium from there. As a point of safety, south of the stadium after the game is probably best avoided.

    I’ll probably end up in the left field seats, and I’ll be in a red striped Braves polo, blue-grey shorts, and I’ll be with my lovely bride who is blonde, and my sister and brother-in-law are guaranteed to be in Braves attire as well. We’re all in our late-20’s, early-30’s (well, I’m in my early-30’s). Sometimes I am loud.

  67. Mallex Smith is a really good baseball player that we traded for 6 years of Luiz Gohara and Thomas Burrows only because we had Ender Inciarte and a farm full of outfielders. What’s your boggle?

    When Mallex Smith appears at his Hall of Fame induction ceremony, YOU WILL NOT BE INVITED!

  68. There’s not a bad seat in the house, but there’s not a good one either.

    Oh gods. The central Florida jokes just keep writing themselves!

  69. If Mallex had any sympathy for Rob, he’d share some of that .411 BABIP with Sean Rodriguez, whose plate discipline skills at least remain intact.

    Good for Mallex, though. Rob is right that he’s not bad, and I hope the Rays find it within themselves to extend him.

  70. It is not looking good for S-Rod, indeed.

    Mallex should be able to carry a high BABIP with his speed, line drive swing, and (if I remember correctly) a bigger-than-normal outfield at the Trop. .411 is obviously high, though, but he doesn’t have to be a .333 hitter, especially if he develops any power whatsoever.

    John R., my e-mail is in the right side bar. Would like to meet you if I can.

  71. We are fast.

  72. @89, Thanks, Rob. My dad’s on the elderly side, so we’ll probably make our way to wherever our seats are gonna be and stick to that location. Probably won’t be doing a lot of wandering around or bar-hopping. :)

    I’ll shoot you an email and let you know where we’ll be seated so we can sneak a visit in if possible.

    So you’d just recommend walking up and buying tickets from the box office?

  73. re Mallex…

    have just remembered the number one complaint about him while he was here-

    he ran bad routes. Really? still?

    John R…if i understood your family notices correctly you guys are sharing three generational moments together this week…congrats to you all.

  74. Rob – Mallex has not been a 3.5 – 4 WAR guy. For his career (181 games / 602 PAs) he has 72 runs, 5 HRs, 39 RBI, 40 SB (17 CS) and a slash line of .269/.339/.369. All told, he’s been worth 2.2 fWAR to date. He has a fine walk rate, doesn’t hit for power and strikes out a ton for a guy with top-of-lineup speed.

    For sake of reference, Mallex’s wRC+ (league and park adjusted offense) is 95, or 5% below average. That’s exactly the same career mark as Ender Inciarte. The major difference between the two is that Inciarte plays far better defense.

    In summary – the picture of Mallex to date is one that is near-average at offense and defense, which makes him a bit of a tweener / 4th OF for a good team – he doesn’t field well enough to justify an everyday role in CF, and doesn’t hit enough to deserve a corner OF spot on the strength of his bat. I really got to like Mallex as a person while he was on the Braves and I wish him luck, but I think the Braves made the right call to trade him.

    At the Trop

    You can rock it, you can roll it
    you can chop and even stroll it.
    At the Trop.
    See the rookie sensation
    who’s still on probation
    at the Trop


    such well-tailored innocence!

  76. If he can put it all together, Mallex Smith may one day become Gregor Blanco.

  77. Gohara is back, so if you want, save some of your slings and arrows for me rather than Rob.

  78. John, I checked StubHub a little while ago, but we’re looking for 5 tickets. I didn’t see a significant discount for what we were looking for.

    RE: Mallex

    I’m referring to Mallex’s success this year, which is the first time he’s spent more than a year in an organization. KK missed some time last year, which got Mallex into the lineup a little bit, but this is the first year he’s played every day. He’s at 0.8 fWAR in 105 PAs, so let’s talk at the end of the year and see where he ends up after the league has caught up with him a little bit. Agreed that we definitely made the right move to trade him, but he’s a good player in his own right.

  79. Acuna hit the 4th ring at the Trop during BP. That’s 450 all day. Wow.

  80. 107 — Are they drinking Keystone Light and trying to get into the stadium while screaming as loud as they can after listening to Metallica?

  81. Rob and John R–How loud did that sound inside the park? On my tv it sounded like a cannon.

  82. Unfortunately, the day got away from me with work so I wasn’t able to go to Tampa. So my dad and I rescheduled for tomorrow…and I missed Acuna Jr going yard. Oh well. But Braves are winning 1-0, so it’s all good.

    Rob, will you be at tomorrow’s game?

    @111, I sure wish I could have answered your question!

  83. The development of Newk’s changeup to a plus pitch has been a difference maker.

  84. Is it time to decide that Newcomb may turn out to be a pretty effective SP after all?

  85. @121 is right. Newk’s changeup was excellent tonight. He didn’t have great command of his breaking ball but his change bailed him out several times

  86. I asked last week who is the second best Canadian pitcher of all time. I think Mr Paxton may have a claim

  87. Man, you put a 94 mph lefty sinker on the corners like that, gonna be hard to hit you.

  88. The Rays could get a legitimate prospect by dealing Venters to a contender. Not bad for a reclamation project who has had a gazillion surgeries.

  89. So the Phillies beat the Giants 11-0 yesterday and 4-2 today? How can that be? The Giants looked like the greatest team on Earth.

  90. It’s interesting that, when Winkler precedes Minter, you essentially have your top 4 relievers being pitched in an order of best to worst. Carle>Winkler>Minter>Vizzy.

  91. @132

    A little too neat perhaps? At present I would not want Minter ahead of Vizzy. But your general point is well taken.

  92. We must never take Ozzie’s defense for granted, there were two examples last night as to why.

    Early in the game, a runner on first and Oz had to react to his right to a ground ball smoked over the area of the bag. It ended with his successful full length soccer goalie dive which was fine enough. But that had been preceded by something no goalie could do – three or four running steps, a blur, low to the ground, like an Olympic sprinter coming out of his blocks. No outs could be made on that play but instead of first and third it was first and second, a big difference in a one run game.

    And then, in a late innings, there was that high leap to catch a smash over his head plus, as Joe told us, resetting himself as he came back down to throw hard to Freddie to start the double play. Big, big.

  93. Johnny Venters.

    We have not seen any pitch in the nineties move so much, so late, this year.

    And that was a wonderful extended bear hug he and Freddie exchanged before the game. It had to be Freddie of course – who else was around way back when?

  94. Cristian Pache
    can in no way be compared to Liberace
    whose ostentatious candelabra
    would imbue any locker room with a glimpse of the macabre.

  95. I am so happy for Jonny. He was abused by Bobby and Fredi.

    I am so happy for Newcomb. He deserves more love.

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