Atlanta 4, Washington 0

I owe Mike Foltynewicz an apology. After his Episode last month against the Giants, I expressed that if he didn’t get it togetherand got sent to the pen or Kansas City I wouldn’t miss him.

OK.

So, I was wrong.

All he has done since then is to go 3-1, and lower his ERA from 3.65 to 2.22 while giving up 2 whole earned runs in 31 innings. While he has walked 13 in those 31 innings, he has only given up 17 hits.

Anyway, last night was without much doubt, the high point of Folty’s career. He posted a Game Score of (if my math is correct) of 93, which according to Chip ‘n Joe ‘n Frenchy, the highest by a Braves starter since some guy named Maddux back in 2001.

The Gnats managed to ‘rough up’ Folty in the first, when Bryce Harper singled on a 3-2 pitch with one out. The next Gnats base runner was Juan Soto, who drew a lead-off walk in the 8th, 20 batters later. Brian Goodwin then had almost the worst stretch of four pitches a major leaguer can have. With Folty having gone to 2-0 and showing evidence of a touch of wildness, Goodwin check swung at ball three and fouled it off. On the next pitch he grounded to Ozzie Albies who got Soto at second. Then, Goodwin got picked off when he was staring at the popcorn vendor in the stands or something. For his rewards he got benched double switched for in the bottom of the inning.

The only other damage came with two out in the 9th, when Trea Turner dribbled a 0-2 pitch into left. But Folty struck out Harper to end the game, with a 99 mph heater followed by a filthy (Folthy?) slider.

Stephen Strasberg matched Folty through 6 innings, but in the 7th the Braves finally got to him. Nick Markakis led off with a single, and went to third on Kurt Suzuki‘s single. Johan Camargo hit a grounder that Matt Adams booted to score Neck. Then Dansby Swanson homered off Strasberg to make it 4-0. Strasberg left the game with hurt feelings ‘cramps’ after going to 0-1 on Ender Inciarte.

All in all, a great game to watch, and I’m glad that I was wrong about Foltynewicz. He, along with Sean Newcomb, are turning into a good duo to build a rotation around. More importantly, we’re a game and a half up on the Natspos, so a win tonight against Gio Gonzalez will guarantee the Braves leave town in first.

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124 thoughts on “Atlanta 4, Washington 0”

  1. Can’t shake the feeling that this was something very special, over and above the obvious. He was in another place, on a different level. A privilege to watch, and remember.

  2. Let’s just get this over with. The Braves entire roster needs to be replaced, without exception. None of them would be missed if this were to be the case.

    (Send my World Series share to rustys@yourewelcome.gov)

  3. To quote Prince:

    Rob Manfred ripped the contracts of our prospects and freed everyone we signed
    You turn on the telly and every other story is tellin’ you we’re in a bind
    We signed Jose Bautista to play third base
    But Albies is hitting balls to the moon
    In October, we lost Maitan and our GM got banned
    Now we’re in first place
    It’s June

  4. Thank you, Seat Painter.

    My least favorite pitcher and position player showed big last night. I may have been premature in pronouncing them bums. Foltzie pitched the best game I’ve seen in almost forever, and Dansby found a three run acorn.

    Congrats, bums. Go Braves.

  5. Who would be Brendan McCarthy this afternoon? Follow that – both of them.

    Our friend Basil
    razzle dazzle
    Fawlty swings
    whiffs and pings.

    As we were wont to say when he first arrived, Fawlty will Tower above his contemporaries.

    coop @5
    Your honesty places you in the middle of a crisis of conscience in this matter. But you have taken the first step, now check with your therapist. luv ‘ya!

  6. Just watched the replay. Folty was in the zone. His demeanor was so different than usual. He was (obviously) in complete control. Finally we can put the “Folty is a reliever” to bed. Folty, Newk, Gohara, Soroka. They will have their struggles but there is not a better young pitching rotation out there.

  7. Gohara physically returns to the Braves today, but I guess we don’t see him for a couple days.

    I can’t find fault in how any pitcher has been handled by the new administration. Each pitcher is being brought through on their own schedule and timeline, and the vast majority of them seem to be working. And even a fringe-at-best guy like Wisler and a retread like Anibal has been given some but not too much workload to see if they can be salvaged.

    When we get Fried, Gohara, and Soroka back, and we either DFA or continue to keep Wisler, Sims, and Anibal away from the 25-man, then we’re really humming. As Roger said, that’s a few too many lefties in the pen, but you still have 4 righties to compliment the 4 lefties. Could be worse.

  8. So I’m watching the recap of the game on Facebook. (Speaking of which, FB is doing these extensive 4-5 minute recaps which are far better than any highlights offered up by another source that I’m aware of…which I’m kind of upset about, seeing as how I am starting to hate FB and am contemplating leaving altogether.) And I hear this Chip Caray replay of a Kurt Suzuki hit:

    “Hammered into left field! A base hit! … The ball is softly hit and perfectly placed!”

    Chip, those are two different things. Turns out, as it almost always is, the reality of the situation was to be gleaned from the second utterance, not the first.

    Also: There was a pop fly on the infield that Dansby took a little over in second base territory. Ozzie looked at him with a peeved “WTF are you doing?” expression. Seemed a little hostile to me. Anyone else notice that?

  9. It was not at all hostile. He playfully drew a line in the dirt afterward. The guys on the broadcast were enjoying it.

  10. I’ll be that guy… Folty (and Newcomb) are the Braves in microcosm, in that they are better, but how much better and how much of the improvement is sustainable still remains to be seen.

    Folty’s track record is longer, so it’ll take more persuading — as if he or anyone should really care what I think anyway — to win me over. It’s as much about how he responds to adversity and how he continues to handle the second time through the order.

    I can buy the much-improved K rate. He’s a different pitcher with a smarter repertoire now. Maybe this game will be the beginning of a virtuous cycle for him, mentally. Foltzie, indeed.

  11. Ozzie, get over it. SS makes the call on infield popups if there’s any question at all. :-)

  12. @10 Yep. Ozzie drew a line on the field. Dansby looked as if he was trying not to notice it but he did a side glance at Albies.

    Could there be some hostility there?? Should Dansby have let Albies field it since he had the better position for it?

    Certainly Albies looked childish in that moment though.

  13. When I was at the game the other day, Ozzie does a lot of stuff that’s playful. He smacked Joey Bats on the butt, he took his helmet off and spun it around. He’s really fun, I love it, and that kind of stuff is who he is. I think we’re going to enjoy this for the next 7+ years.

  14. May have just been playful. I could only half watch when it happened. I’ve never seen anything amiss between them.

    I love the energy between those guys (Albies, Acuna, and Swanson). Probably the highlight of the season was everyone chasing Dansby on the game-winning hit.

  15. The Fire Frogs (high A) play down the road from me tonight and tomorrow. Ian Anderson tonight, Kyle Muller tomorrow. Who should I go see? I’m inclined to think Anderson will pitch a little deeper, so I’m leaning towards tonight.

  16. What a game. Still can’t believe Strasburg threw Dansby that curveball. No way he would have touched a slider away off the plate there.

    Strasburg leaving games in Atlanta with phantom injuries is my favorite bit. The Nats continue to be a garbage franchise.

    All in on “Foltzie.” I love this team.

  17. I’m all for the incident behind second being “playful”, but in order for that to be so Ozzie has to have a deadly poker face. He looked peeved. Which could be the joke. Who knows?

    When I was at the game in Tampa, there was a moment when Ozzie was on second after Acuna took first on a HBP. While the Tampa folks converged on the mound for a bit, the interplay between those two guys was hilarious. Ozzie seems a natural jokester.

    @13, I drafted Foltynewicz in my yahoo fantasy league. Last round or second to last round, I forget. I took starting pitching with my first three rounds (Kluber, Sale, Severino) and figured I’d use my late rounds for high-risk/high upside guys. Foltynewicz is in my six-man rotation (along with Teheran and Mike Clevinger), so I feel like I’m doing pretty good.

  18. There’s something about a team that comes to life in the late innings, night after night, that makes you think that they’re going to be in it all year. These are games where they would’ve just rolled over and died under Fredi.

  19. I never understood all the talk of sending Folty to the bullpen or getting rid of him in the first place, given how great his stuff has always been.

    Trust me, I do know how annoying it is when he completely melts down because he doesn’t get a strike call on a 1-1 pitch with one out and the bases empty. But a) That’s certainly happened a lot less this year, with only one major incident (or Episode, if you wish) that I can remember, and has generally been reducing in occurrence over the past couple years; and b) Wouldn’t you give someone with his stuff more of a leash to figure things out in that regard?

    It’s just kind of odd that on a site where people like Wisler and Blair are…not given a pass, but certainly made the beneficiaries of excuses in some quarters, and where the thought of trading any pitching prospect before we get a look at him is shocking, that there’s a bunch of people who wanted to take the guy with the best stuff of any of them and throw him out with the trash.

  20. @23, It’s more because Folty used to be a lot worse the second time through the order, more than anything else. I’d been getting used to the idea that Folty could be like Josh Hader.

  21. It’s worth trolling the notion that Brian mcCann would have yelled at this team for having this much fun.

  22. I’ll take the bait. I never bothered to look for quotes. Was McCann really anti-fun or just anti-Carlos Gomez? Wasn’t Gomez cursing out our players while rounding the bases? I honestly don’t recall anymore.

  23. There’s a lot to like about this team. There’s some good chemistry forming due to the fact that this is no longer a team for journeymen on their second or third go-round or guys riding the team shuttle back and forth to Gwinnett every few days.

    I was “lucky” enough to be at game two of Monday’s double-header when the Braves announced that fans could sit in any open seat they chose. Some things that I was pleased to observe from my upgraded seat directly by the Braves dugout: Foltzie and Newk having a conversation along the railing through three whole innings. They genuinely seem to have a pretty tight bond which is exactly what you want from the guys who are now leading your pitching staff. The Acuña and Albies show – lot’s of light-hearted tomfoolery going on there. At one point Acuña walks by and untucks Ozzie’s jersey from the back. Ozzie, not wanting to give him the satisfaction of well played prank ignores it and plays the rest of the game with the back of his jersey hanging out.

    All that said, I have no doubt that Ozzie was just messing with Dansby on those plays last night. He seems to have a somewhat sardonic sense of humor about him. We’ve all seen the gif of Acuña “choking” Ozzie during that comeback victory a couple of weeks ago. I had to watch it few times to determine whether Ozzie’s look of indignity was genuine or not as he stormed away. I think he just gets a kick out of playing the heel in those situations, but he is enjoying himself all the same. I mean what’s to get upset about on a first place team that’s playing consistently good baseball?

  24. @23, I’m not a Foltynewicz hater, but to be fair to those that are (strawman? lol) the one thing he has over Wisler and Blair is trade value. So there is something to “let’s divest of a problem child while we can still get a healthy return” that makes logical sense (if you think he’s a problem child that won’t develop).

  25. @27, You reassure me to think Ozzie was being flashing sardonic humor in that infield popup situation. If so, I heartily approve.

  26. @17 Seems to me there was some other guy named Ozzie that used to do back flips. Some of the greatest teams in baseball have been very cohesive fun-loving guys. I’m all for this being a reincarnation of the Gashouse Gang.

    One of my all time favorite stories, is that after Paul Dean threw a no-hitter in the second game of a double-header, Dizzy Dean, who pitched a 3-hitter in the first game was quoted as saying something to the effect of – “If I’d have known he was gonna pitch a no-hitter, I’d have pitched me one too.” I hope our two up and coming aces compete and have fun the same way.

  27. The Gashouse Gang also had the market cornered on nicknames – Dizzy, Daffy, Dazzy, Ducky, Pepper, Leo the Lip, Tex, and Ripper. Has there ever been a “set” of better nicknames?

    May this team be at least half as fun and just as good.

  28. Cmon yall, Dansby and Ozzie have a good relationship. They are two young kids thrown in the foxhole together. There’s a lot of things to worry about with this franchise, but team chemistry isn’t one of them.

    I’ll say it again. When the bottom of our lineup produces, we are an elite team.

  29. Yeah, the team chemistry is actually so good right now that it’s mildly concerning, which is silly. Sometimes it seems like there’s such a “Kumbaya” feeling with all these young players and late-inning heroics that I worry that they might run out of “emotional gas”, if you will, as many of them get into the hardest professional season of their careers. They’re pros, so I’m sure they’ll be fine, but the 2011 team wasn’t. 9-18 down the stretch!

  30. Reed is a former top 30 Brewers prospect who signed with Braves as a minor league FA. He is fast and has a decent hit too and plays CF. Has had a cup of coffee but nothing more so far. Maybe a poor man’s Brett Phillips???

  31. Braves SPs have gone 6 IP 4 straight games and Anibal and Wisler went a combined 8 IP on Tuesday. In those games until now, they’ve used less than 2 relievers per game on average. Relievers are getting a rest.

  32. Sam Freeman: The man you call when you don’t care about winning the game.

  33. Why in the hell did he take McCarthy out of the freaking game?

    “Oh, our bullpen is rested, so even though there’s precisely zero reason for me to turn this game over to our crappy bullpen, I’m going to do it because I can!”

  34. Brandon McCarthy has quite clearly traded going deep in games for an extra 3-5 MPH on his fastball. Reasonably attentive fans should know as much.

  35. Just because McCarthy can’t go deep doesn’t mean that Sam Freeman should ever be your first option when you have 100 percent of your bullpen available.

  36. And now he’s using Shane Carle? After making it clear that he would’ve used Freeman for a second straight inning if a lefty were up? What the hell is even going on?

  37. That was Freeman’s first HR given up all year, to be fair.

    Big 3-2 pitch by Carle to strike out Harper.

  38. I love Ender, but since Acuna can play CF, you may have to look at upgrading the LF spot at the expense of Ender.

  39. The supremely weird bullpen management continues, but I guess it’s worked since Freeman. If we don’t score in this inning and he sends anybody but Vizcaino or Winkler out there in the 10th, though, it’ll officially be ridiculous.

  40. LOL…so of course he goes with Moylan.

    I honestly have no idea what in the hell Snitker is doing here.

  41. Is he trying to avoid throwing his 4 best relievers in any one game? Like Winkler/Vizzy throw in one game and Carle/Minter in another?

    He is being smart to try to get a full inning out of his LOOGY and ROOGY.

  42. “Well, we might have a lead tomorrow, didn’t wanna use them in a tie game today…”

  43. Can we please win this freaking game before Snitker loses it with whatever the hell he’s doing with the bullpen today???

  44. @66

    Fair point. I forgot we sent Wisler down after he pitched all those innings the other day. It’s hard to keep up sometimes.

  45. To be fair, it was against the bottom of the order. May it had been a waste to throw Wink or Vizzy?

  46. @70

    Except it was against the heart of the order in the seventh and eighth.

    Maybe he figures that nobody can see anything with the shadows, anyway, so why waste the two best guys. If that’s the reason, it’s either colossally genius or colossally stupid. Also, if that’s the reason, we’re about to see Viz.

  47. I mean, he’s actually about to let Jesse Biddle face Bryce Harper in a game-breaking situation with both Viz and Winkler available. So we’re officially all in on this now.

  48. LOL…and now the umpires are bailing us out. Can we win this game NOW??? Pretty please, with sugar on top????

  49. Albies swinging up and at high pitches .. popping up alot .. not ud8ng his speed .. maybe needs a day off ..

  50. I have no idea how our craptacular relievers are continuing to strike out Bryce Harper. Joe and Frenchy just mentioned that his front hip is bailing badly, and it does look like it. Maybe we caught a break and got him in the middle of a rare slump.

  51. It’s obvious that he’s not pitching our two good relievers unless in an emergency. I don’t know why, but that’s pretty clearly where we are.

  52. And we’re now swinging at all the balls and taking all the strikes. I’m afraid I’m starting to agree with krussell.

  53. Dang get the bat off your shoulders .. we making this Miller guy look like cy young .. well game over the Sucko guy coming in …

  54. 91 — It seems like this is an emergency, being out of pitchers except the worst guy on the staff.

  55. I’m going to need an explanation for why Winkler and Vizzy have not been used. Gotta be something… right?

  56. Snitker had better have a damned good explanation, and somebody had better freaking ask him the obvious question.

  57. Oh my God! One of the announcers finally mentioned the lack of Viz and Winkler! I honestly can’t believe it!

  58. @100 No offense, but Sucklovich is waaay worse than those guys, with the exception of Blair

  59. Snit, next time you decide not to use your top two bullpen arms in a game, thus proving that you decided this will be one of the 54 losses, let me know before I invest five hours of my life in it.

  60. 1-6 now in extra inning games… Don’t know if that says something about the bullpen, the lineup, or snitker.

  61. The eye balls must be telling them something the stats aren’t with Evan Phillips’ performance at AAA. There’s just no reason for Socolovich to be on the roster.

  62. Ugh, can’t believe I stayed up for Suckovich. Snit, what happened there? Interesting to find out. What a performance by Biddle though.

  63. Most frustrating loss of the year. Could have gone 2.5 games up. Instead our offense goes completely inept and our manager was stupid.

  64. @103

    Not only not using them, but not using them for no apparent reason. And if you know you’re not going to use them, that’s even less reason to take McCarthy out with 85 pitches or whatever he had.

  65. If nothing else, there was an utter lack of acknowledgment that this game was more important than, like, one of those games out west next week or whatever. If asked about it, I’m positive he would say that it’s not more important, they’re all equally important, but that’s crap. This game was clearly more important, and an inability to acknowledge that has cost us.

  66. The two losses against the cubs, snow hurricane and viz blown save still hurt more, but this could be the third worst.

  67. I swear if Snit spews something about wanting to have Winkler/Viz fresh for tomorrow, I’ll lose it.

  68. @114

    That’s pretty much what he did. Managers are, for the most part, interchangeable, but Snitker lost me today.

  69. What’s really gonna be great is when either team has like a 7-run lead tomorrow (doesn’t really matter which for the purposes of this scenario) and here come Winkler and Vizcaino. We’re in this game now with a chance to win the series! Adjust your stupid plan!

  70. @114 Well, you lost it. He said that he wanted them to have a full day off since they warmed up yesterday.

    Is this some sort of message to the FO? Yes, the bullpen is good, but it’s over-worked and not as durable as it presently seems, these guys won’t stand up to the long season, etc.?

  71. I know the focus is on not throwing the best arms, but the Braves only scored runs today on one swing of the bat. The top of the Braves’ lineup currently has two of the worst OBPs amongst qualifiers. We’re a month of Ender struggling away from him potentially losing some playing time.

  72. Frenchy has no right to give any insights on hitting. He can definitely talk about how it felt like to swing and miss countless times on outside sliders off the plate or hit the ball so hard that it only became a routine flyout.

  73. @117. This team needs bullpen help. I think this is a consensus of the organization or they wouldn’t do all these yoyoing with these bullpen arms since the season started. I am sure AA will get the team some bullpen arms when the trading period starts.

  74. The bullpen went 8 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 W, 11 K. The offense went 5 for 47.

    Minus Socolovich it was 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 2 W, and 11 K.

  75. This team is known for sending countless pitchers to Tommy John. We better stop using the BC and FG style of bullpen management as a threshold.

  76. McCarthy on On Snitker’s decision to save Vizcaino and Winkler:

    “I’m more of the mind to win games that are there to be won. Win game 6 before game 7. But my job isn’t to look at the larger picture of this. I’ve been here with a history with those guys and knowing how to face them. So I’m looking at it with the amateur status. He’s sitting there, he sees all the data, he knows where guys are and what they’re doing. I trust his opinion on that over me just guessing.”

    Translation: It was stupid, and while I can’t say that, I don’t want to lie either.

    https://www.ajc.com/sports/baseball/what-braves-said-after-extra-inning-loss-nationals/qkx9bFC97uW1QqH66EOGiO/

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