Padres 3, Braves 1

While I readily admit I did not complete live viewings of either of the two previous games, the scores in each were my excuse. This afternoon, I watched to the bitter end, not at all aided by two broadcasters whose unenviable task, to make the San Diego Padres an interesting team, remains, I’m afraid, unfulfilled. For two (partial) nights I’ve had to listen to Don Orsillo giggle at his own athletic ineptitude and his fear of radio guy Mark Grant with his broadcast partner, Mark Sweeney. When a last place teams either trails or leads by 7 runs or more, you have to do all sorts of stuff to keep yourself awake, I guess, but it’s much harder for a person three time zones away to join in the merriment. I still miss Skip.

Which makes a nice segue to the pre-Skip days of 1966, when Braves telecasts were rare (less than 20 games a year) and you really learned who Aaron, Alou and Carty were by listening to Milo Hamilton, Larry Munson and Ernie Johnson on WSB radio. Munson famously left after the second season because Hamilton was a raging egomaniac who wouldn’t let Munson speak. Hamilton thought Munson was some guy who came into the booth unprepared and tried to wing it. Munson of course was keenly aware of the subtle lures of egomania. Trying to keep the peace was Ernie. He failed.

This is all retrospect of course; none of it was apparent to a ten year old who was just transfixed by games over radio. I only listened to Hamilton a couple of times after he left the Braves in 1975. It was horrible; but it was me that had changed, not Milo. He could tell a game story to a ten year old. I’m often rough on announcers, so let’s leave it at that.

Going into game 62, the 1966 Braves were 27-34 and playing the last of a three game set in Connie Mack Stadium. I don’t have a lot of memories of Connie Mack Stadium beyond the almost archetypal Philadelphia Story of its demise in 1970. From Wikipedia: “The [final game] was marred by souvenir hunters literally dismantling the stadium even while the game was still in progress. A special post-game ceremony – including a helicopter removal of home plate and delivery of it at The Vet – was cancelled in the mayhem.” If that doesn’t say Philly I don’t know what does.

In any case, the Braves won this game 11-6 behind yet another Aaron homer (his 21st, off future manager Roger Craig) and 5 doubles from a bunch of guys. But the game was still close in the 9th and broken open by a one-out bases-loaded pinch hit triple in the 9th from Joe Torre. Joe Torre in 1966 was fat and slow: my uncle used to say the only way he’d steal second is if they put a pizza on it and he could slide in mouth first. (That passed for humor in 1966.) After hitting this triple, Torre, evidently exhausted, was lifted for a pinch-runner (Denis Menke.) Menke scored on a balk.

The 38 year old Chi-Chi Olivo got a save which would not have been a save under current rules. More about him another week.

So the Padres decided to pitch Johnny Fullstaff against Folty. They pitched guys named Matt, Jose, Adam, and Kirby through the 7th. There is no conceivable reason to learn any of their last names, other than anagram practice, and I did that last week. Inciarte got a much-needed day off. FF homered in the 1st, but Spangenberg tripled in Renfroe to tie things up in the 2nd, and Manny Margot took advantage of Albies’ height to single in Spangenberg for the lead. The bases were loaded on some less-than-nifty footwork by Folty, but Hosmer struck out for the second time (he would eventually Golden Sombrero) to end the threat.

Two out Braves threats died in the 3rd and 4th. Albies just missed the foul pole in the 5th. Folty left after 100 pitches.

As so often happens this year, the game started in earnest the 8th. The Padres used their good reliever, Brad Hand, charter member of the All-Metonymy team. (That’s my highfaluting trope for the day.) Albies doubled, but Hand struck out Swanson, FF and Neck and looked good doing it with a sweeping off-speed pitch that nobody could touch.

In the bottom of the 8th, Freddy Galvis gets an add-on run with a safety squeeze and it’s trouble going to the 9th. Hand comes back in for a two inning save and looks just as good in the 9th.

So I guess you have to tip your cap: to Matt, Jose, Adam, Kirby and Brad. I’ll tip my cap, but I’ll be damned if I’ll learn their last names.

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.

50 thoughts on “Padres 3, Braves 1”

  1. Strahm, Castillo, Cimber, and Wade. Did a number on the offense. Very frustrating game to watch. Home plate umpire was winning no friends from either dugout.

  2. Would you be upset if the Braves drafted Luke Heimlich (or sign him as a UDFA)? Why or why not?

  3. JF, keep those memories of 1966 coming.
    I still can’t wrap my mind around Joe Torre hitting a triple. For those who only remember him as a manager and MLB big shot, suffice it to say that he is in much better shape now than when he played.

  4. tfloyd,

    As I remember, after Torre got to the Cardinals, he and they agreed to a fitness regime to get him ready to play third base. My memory of that is that he was at least adequate defensively at 3B, but I was 10 to 15 and only seeing a game of the week with Torre once or twice a year.

  5. If the line for some fans means no Yasiel Puig, then it’s safe to say Heimlich isn’t even a discussion.

    If you follow the 1WAR/$7M FA value ratio, which may be a little off after last year’s FA, Nick Markakis is… worth his contract. He’s so far accumulated 5.4 fWAR thanks for his 2.1 fWAR so far this year. If he can muster an additional 0.8 fWAR for the remainder of the year, he’ll be right on with the $7M per WAR figure. He can accumulate that by simply being the league average player he was the first three years of his deal for the rest of this season.

  6. I’m not sold on Neck keeping this up the rest of the season, hope springs eternal.

    And no to drafting the child molester, not worth it in bad PR to the franchise, and there are some things you shouldn’t be forgiven for.

  7. I don’t think anyone is sold that Neck can keep this up until it actually happens. It’s whether he can be league average that would allow him to match the quick-and-dirty ratio.

    I think Folty has been able to avoid the catastrophic starts this year, and that’s been big. This may have been an outing last year where he didn’t get out of the 3rd or the 4th without giving up 5 runs. Avoiding the really bad outings really helps the bullpen stay fresh and keeps us in games, a big reason why we’ve been so good this year.

  8. I believe a huge distinction should be made between acts committed as an adult vs those as a child. Heimlich apparently began the molestation as an 11 or 12-year-old. He has served the punishment given at the time and the fact we know of it at all is unfortunate for all involved.

    Still, given we do know of the situation, I’m glad my team didn’t draft him. Hope he enjoys Japan.

  9. In happier news, I caught my first look at the Rome team last night and thought I would share some thoughts.

    William Contreras looks like a stud behind the plate — dude is huge for a catcher. He caught 2 guys trying to steal, both on breaking balls, neither all that close. Seems to have a good eye too as he went to deep counts 4 out of his 5 trips.

    Huascar Ynoa was dialed in. A little consistency from him and we have a steal for Jaime Garcia.

    Drew Waters is going to be our next big thing in prospects

    Derian Cruz had one of his “good” nights and still looks lost. Asheville has a ridiculously short right field so don’t believe the “homered in 2 straight games’ hype.

  10. Nice rundown!

    Contreras could be our top rated catching prospect at mid-season with Jackson’s struggles. Cool that you saw the same thing as others.

    What’s Cruz’s problem? Bad fundamentals?

  11. @12

    Thanks for Snowshine Epistle to the Romans!

    William Contreras…Samson Agonistes

    Huascar Ynoa
    You ask her, his sister, you know her?

    Drew(Still) Waters…run deep.

    Derian Cruz
    some will say it’s the booze
    but others point to Right
    where it seems to get easier each night.

  12. He has that deer-in-the-headlights, everything-is-happening-too-quickly look. He did make one nice play on a ball the pitcher deflected but one suspects it’s because he didn’t have time to think. He obviously has the tools.

    You remember how Adam Laroche used to react to things about a second after everyone else? Cruz has that vibe.

  13. @14, last line…easier/shorter

    can someone explain in comments how to edit, after the fact? thanks

  14. The good thing is that he’s 19 in low-A, so it sounds like the org has him pegged too. He definitely has time for his mental game to catch up to his immense physical tools. There’s such a divide between the scouting and his performance pretty much since he was signed, so I think you got it right on.

    Glad you went on a day where Ynoa was throwing. He also looks better than he’s shown.

  15. blazon, you have five minutes to hit the “Click to edit” button below your comment. It opens up a window for you to make edits.

  16. Adam La Roche
    the door to the clubhouse you must not broach
    if in the company of minors
    and you in turn spouting seditious one liners.

  17. @18…Rob

    Misunderstanding. I am well aware of the initial 5 minute edit window and use it extensively. What I was looking for is the situation where that 5 minutes is up, your new comment has appeared for all to read and some time after that you want to change a word or two – see #16. I seem to remember seeing on some other posts the word Edit appearing where the poster makes a correction or addition. How did he do that?

    Sorry! We poets you know, picky bunch.

  18. Gotcha. Yeah, you can only edit it within the first five minutes. After that, my friend, it is etched into the annals of history for the great world to behold. And to read a poet like you, the world becomes a lucky lot.

    There may be things Heimlich is able to do to right his ship and change the perception about his situation, but until that occurs, it seems the baseball fanbase wants nothing to do with him and the teams’ hands are tied. I don’t know, though, what could change in the details to change people’s minds.

    It seems to be easier than we might think for teams to pass on players. The league clearly passed on Bonds when he could have undoubtedly helped a team. Will there ever be a player again in history that retires after a 1.045 OPS season in full-time duty?

    Even a lesser case like Brandon Phillips. Could he help a team if he had picked up an outfielder’s mitt and been more willingly more quickly to man 3B? Sure, but he didn’t, and teams are passing on those shenanigans. I fear there may never be anything that could possibly change enough with Heimlich to put enough meat on the bones for teams to want him. Three kind of random examples, but I think they relate.

  19. Heimlich can’t earn money at what he is good at doing? He paid the debt. Said it didn’t happen.

    Where do we draw the line on stuff like this? It’s a slippery slope.

  20. Where do we draw the line on stuff like this? It’s a slippery slope.

    Your guess is as good as mine. This discussion toes the line of politics, but I feel like we have a mature enough crowd to hang out on the line effectively. To me, I don’t know what the line is. What Heimlich was convicted of doing was horrible, but you make two points: he paid his debt, and he has maintained he was innocent and pled guilty for family and financial reasons. And just by being a sex offender, he will continue to be punished in small ways for the rest of his life.

    If you commit murder, should fans embrace? If you rob a bank, should fans embrace? Is there an “ickiness” to this that is legitimately icky, and fans will never forgive it? Is this just a cardinal sin of entertainment figures where you can never earn favor in the general public once there’s even a hint of this? No idea. But I also can’t think of much else that would have caused this level of backlash, so maybe that’s your answer.

  21. I’m a big believer in the Barkley Rule: “Athletes aren’t heroes.” If you didn’t break your own sport’s rules, and you are free to walk among your fellow humans unincarcerated, you should be allowed to do whatever you can do. It will clearly, as Rob says above, require some education of the public to make this a reality, because if the net effect is to cost the club revenue then they won’t hire you no matter what your contribution to winning. But I don’t think that (to switch sports) Roger Goodell is morally superior to Ray Rice, and pretending that he is is just moral preening (when it isn’t pandering.)

  22. Good news from Pittsburgh…Dodgers had to scratch their starter and by the sixth they’ve already used 7 pitchers, 3 in that innings.

    Bad news…Matt Kemp is still hitting, to all fields.

    On MLB.

  23. @25


    Roger Goodell is a despicable human being. Real Sports did an update this month, a year after the billion dollar ‘agreement’ was finalized for players seriously injured physically and /or with dementia as a result of concussive injuries.

    Incredibly, as of now only 10 per cent of that money has actually been disbursed to the players and/or their families. NFL lawyers have currently stalled the rest with one excuse or the other. Meanwhile many affected players and their partners are living in desperate conditions. Some like Mike Webster are no longer living at all and I believe even his widow has not been properly compensated in full. Yuk. Fuck the NFL.

  24. Matt Kemp through June 06 last year: 327/359/561 (920)

    Matt Kemp through June 06 this year: 353/384/599 (983)

    The BA and SLG are both career highs for him so far. As a 33 year old.

    One may apply these simply stated facts to their expectations of both Kemp and Neck going forward, if they so choose.

  25. I’m a big believer in the Barkley Rule: “Athletes aren’t heroes.” If you didn’t break your own sport’s rules, and you are free to walk among your fellow humans unincarcerated, you should be allowed to do whatever you can do.

    I am a big believer in the idea that no one is entitled to a job in MLB, and even if he’s served his time and totes pinky swears, unlike every other criminal ever arrested for anything, he is totally innocent anyway, you leave that guy on the table. The PR drag isn’t worth it, and I’m told the economy for non-MLB pitching jobs is totally going to explode for working class folks any day now because trade wars are easy.

  26. I don’t think anything you say, Sam, contradicts anything I said, with the possible exception of the difficulty of the implicit cost of “PR drag.” A 7 WAR hitter will get you a lot more butts in the seats and can pay for a lot of PR flacks. Though I granted above that it is possible that it might possibly under some circumstances cost you more butts than it gains you, even after PR flackery. There are *some* fans who want to watch good baseball and don’t care about back stories. There might not be enough of us yet… but there never will be as long as your “leave that guy on the table” reflex is operative.

    And blazon… unusually evocative poetry from you in that last line. I fully agree.

  27. I am a big believer in the idea that no one is entitled to a job in MLB

    This is an incredibly obvious statement being presented as a ground-breaking piece of wisdom. Everyone agrees on that. The question is whether or not the marketplace should accept the commodity, which was the intent and phrasing of my question: how do you feel?

    He has clearly not earned forgiveness in the eyes of the marketplace. Neither did Ray Rice (as mentioned), Barry Bonds, or the rest of the steroid users kept out of the Hall. Clearly the marketplace does not think Heimlich has “served his punishment” so to speak. What’s the line? If there was a way for him to have spent 10 years in prison, and he came out as a 25-year old and was still a lights-out pitcher, would he get a chance? Does that change the complexion? If he said before the draft that he would donate his signing bonus to some sexual assault awareness charity, would that have steered the rudder? People eat that crap up all day.

    If he gave the team that signs him some ammo to use on his behalf, would the team be willing to “educate” the way JonathanF said to something like, “Luke is repentant, he has pled guilty, he has had no issues since this happened, he’s been the consummate teammate, and he’s ::donating his minor league salary until he gets called up to sexual assault victim charities (or something)::”. And if Luke gets on the television and talks about it, maybe he can get himself on a field.

  28. Sam…

    in the fascinating ‘stand up be counted’ phase of a moral issue such as Luke Heimlich you might think there are only two factions involved here in these pages – ‘no way’ would be one, the other ‘why not, we might come out of it ok.’ Both views essentially pragmatic.

    There is a third group here, though, can you handle that? They would want the club to go out of their way to draft him, give him another chance, express their full unqualified support and total committment. Precisely because he is in the hole he is in. Please send all adjectives and nouns that portray your reaction to this third column to this poster. Who is a fan of yours.

  29. The Braves have played as many as 4 games more than some other teams in the NL, but they boast 4 of the top 5 plate appearance leaders: Nick, Freddie, Ozzie, and Ender.

    4 of the 5 leaders in plate appearances among NL players are Braves, including Ozzie Albies, who has 10 more trips tot he plate than anyone in MLB— Dayton from Nebraska (@BravesAmerica) June 7, 2018

    The lineup has gotten to the plate more than a lot of teams because of the run production, but that list includes a guy with a .646 OPS, a 33-year old, and a 21-year old in his first major league season. Freddie’s a horse; he’s fine. They’re going to need to give these guys a few days off here and there. When Acuna gets back, I think he plays a little CF, and Tucker gets in the lineup against righties or Culberson against lefties.

  30. @28…Sam

    ‘One may apply…if they so choose’ NO!!

    ‘One may apply..if one so chooses’ YES!!

    Your point, and numbers, re Kemp and Neck are provocative and likely entirely right. For too long here some have consigned these athletes to the scrap heap of memorabilia. You know who you are!

    Adonis, wherefore art thou, Adonis.

  31. Heimlich’s problem (other than the obvious legal issue) is that he’s playing the wrong sport. There are so many prospects and so many draft picks that there’s always someone else whose chances of making it are basically just as good. Bryce Harper is the only fairly recent draftee I can think of at the moment that differs from this equation. So if Bryce Harper had had a criminal record of some sort, then yeah, you’re probably willing to overlook a wider variety of things. And if it’s the NBA, for instance, where there’s only 15 draftees a year, max, who are worth having at all, maybe then, as well. But in baseball, how about one of those other 30 or so guys who are probably just as good at the same position and haven’t been convicted of molesting their 6-year-old niece?

  32. “Third way” grandstanding moral preeners are like industrial grade drills.

    They bore.

  33. @36

    But there’s a need for so many more players in the NBA. Heimlich was considered a first round talent. There’s about 30-40 first round talents out of around 1,200 draft picks in any given year. And he was the PAC-12 Pitcher of the Year. And he’s a lefty. Talent-wise, he wasn’t far off from McClanahan or Liberatore or one of the other top lefties.

    I don’t think it’s a matter of need. Every team needs top college lefties with elite potential. That’s Heimlich. It’s whether or not even that need is worth what he brings, and obviously the answer currently is “no”.

  34. JF, it’s still funny. Makes thinking about Torre as manager of the Damn Yankees a little less painful.

  35. @38

    You’re either missing the point or way too wrapped up in prospects, probably both. It’s not hard to find a left-hander with much the same chance of panning out as Heimlich. Prospects are way more interchangeable than you seem to think IMO.

  36. @37/41

    He seeks out the moral high ground
    where love and its issues are found
    but through all this preening
    which some find demeaning
    his heart still remains on the mound.

    Sam…i doubt there’s been a better root. Huascar almost says it for you. Ynoa too. So boring! Cheers.

  37. On Luke Heimlich: It’s a tragedy that we are even knowledgeable of the actions of a juvenile. It’s a greater tragedy that our court system accepts the guilty plea of a 15 year old and publicly registers him as a sex offender off of a single victim’s claim. A 9 year old makes a claim, a 15 year old pleads guilty while maintaining his innocence, and this is the story we now have to talk about.

    If none of us ever heard anything about this, he’d be fine to be drafted. 12-13 year old kids do a lot of stupid stuff with no awareness of the ramifications (ie. grabbing electric lines, throwing cats off of garage roofs, etc), and I’m sure whatever he did with his niece was a mistake (if anything ever even happened at all, right?).

    tldr; This is a tremendous failing of our court system when a 13 year old’s single (dare I say it: non-violent) offense becomes the knowledge of everyone everywhere.

    And for that, I wouldn’t want him in the organization or in our clubhouse. That guy will have to watch his back the rest of his life out of fear that some other dude is going to crack the back of his skull for being a child molester.

  38. Out of curiosity, I dug for that news article from The Oregonian. The only reason anyone knows about Luke Heimlich’s crime is because he lapsed in his offender registration which brought his crime to light in the Oregon Crime records.

    Seems like this young man needed some parental help in at least a few instances of his young life…

  39. @43..Donny Simpson

    You write so well on this issue then, amazingly, come to a conclusion that couldn’t be more contradictory!

    I would add two extras to your original points -7 and 12 are near ‘show and tell’ ages- bit of a stretch i know here. If they had criminalized that back then we might well all be in trouble. More importantly sexual charges and counter charges within the umbrella of the extended family are notoriously prone to coached memories.

    So explain your last paragraph please. You make such a good case for the opposite conclusion!

  40. Blazon, I might be making too much of clubhouse dynamics and the strong emotional feelings that some men have on the topic. For instance, if Luke went to prison he’d have it really rough: the two types who get special treatment there are child rapists and wife abusers. If Luke gets drafted, I have to believe he will come under fire not just from fans but even from some teammates and coaches who feel its important to make this guy pay for… forever.

    So it’s not that I don’t personally want to give Luke a chance. I actually do. I just think that it will be personally upsetting for others in the organization and clubhouse. Some don’t want to make a distinction regarding age, but just 10 minutes of Googling and my own anecdotal experience with childhood is enough for me to rationalize that this guy is probably not a danger to anyone. For others, I don’t know if that is enough to get the devil off this kid’s back. Maybe it is.

  41. And maybe I arrive at a peculiar conclusion in that my reason for not wanting that type of news around the team has less to do with the actual person and more to do with how society will receive it. I am, in essence, blaming the system for my unfairness towards the player.

  42. What kind of sociopath kid throws cats off of roofs?! Jesus. You people are so incredibly broken. No wonder Bourdain decided the world wasn’t worth it any more.

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