It’s Better If Cliff Gets The Off Day (a game thread)

Last thread is creeping into triple digit comment count, so here’s a new thread. Feel free to use it to continue drastically over-emoting about not getting that one reliever from Tampa Bay, or that one time we didn’t sign Mike Moustakas or something. Or maybe debate the value of Jason Heyward again. Or as a game thread tonight. Whatevs. You kids do you, man. You kids, you do you.

In other tangentially interesting things:

Yesterday, yea, even while we were Off-Daying to thwart Cliff’s bad mojo, The Bulge was active. First The Bulge swelled to a full 4 games, as the Yankees beat the Nats in the final half of a previously suspended game from May. Super weirdness out of that game is that Juan Soto filled out a roster spot in that game, even though the game officially happened prior to his being called up. He hit a dinger too. So now Juan Soto is credited with a ML home run hit prior to his debut in MLB. I think that’s a first in MLB history, actually.

The same two teams played again, for a regularly scheduled game with Juan Soto actually in the Majors this time, and the Nats won. So The Bulge shrunk back down to 3.5 games. Which is where it started, and stayed, thanks to Cliff not having a recap to do. Although, honestly, if you’re seeing that much action in a bulge, on your off day, maybe see a doctor. Preventative maintenance is the best maintenance!

In other Nat news, Bryce Harper shaved. Which, I’m pretty sure, is his first official statement of intent to join the Yankees this winter.

Mexico beat Germany in the World Cup, which was pretty shocking. And England beat Panama. So the two most cursed soccer powerhouses did something unexpected and won. Then Japan went and beat Columbia this morning. Brazil drew. I don’t even know what’s going on now.

Speaking of soccer, here’s a video of Atlanta United folks in a Dad Jokes competition, aired for Father’s Day. If you don’t love this club, you’re just broken inside.

Braves are in Toronto at 7PM tonight. Canadiastanuckian Mike Soroka goes against his home country, while Jaime Garcia throws for them. United play in a USOC match at home, vs Chicago Fire, Wednesday. People should stop whinging just because Julio Jones wants to be paid like the superstar that he is, and the Hawks still suck.

73 thoughts on “It’s Better If Cliff Gets The Off Day (a game thread)”

  1. From the prior thread… Honestly, it doesn’t make a bit of difference what Kemp is doing to evaluate that trade. The Braves needed pitching and salary relief not superb OF performance. We have Acuna for that. Without McCarthy, we would never have gotten off to a hot start while our other pitchers were still revving their engines. It’s hard to measure that both McCarthy and Culberson have made particularly timely contributions even if they can’t be seen in the overall numbers. Now if you want to compare giving Kemp one last hurrah with getting Acuna ready for the next ten years, I think you know where my vote stands. If we do sign someone like Bryce Harper then that can be attributed to the Kemp trade, too. Braves achieve a huge number of positives beyond whatever Kemp does on the field.

  2. I write biweekly emails during Ivy League college football season. I usually call Columbia “Colombia.” (Actually, last year I called them “Amerindia.”) Good to see Sam evening the score back up. If Japan can’t beat an Ivy League college team, they should concentrate on sushi.

  3. Of note: tomorrow’s game is a day game, and will be available ONLY via MLB’s Facebook Live thing.

  4. @6

    I’m actually surprised there hasn’t been a bigger uproar around the league over the Facebook Watch exclusive games that aren’t available to view anywhere else, but they’re all midweek afternoon games, so I guess most people haven’t really noticed.

    EDIT: Also, they’re basically available for free to everyone, so even though you have to deal with Facebook to get it, it’s not like you have to buy another TV package or something, I guess. Maybe that’s mitigated the hand-wringing, as well.

  5. But you basically can’t watch the game easily on a TV, so it’s still pretty dumb.

  6. @8

    Yeah, I agree. You take games that are already on TV and sell separate streaming rights to them (like the NFL has done putting Thursday Night Football on Amazon, for instance)? Fine. You make it so Facebook is the only way to watch a game that would otherwise be on TV? That’s kind of irritating.

  7. Thanks for the heads up. But I’ll be ready, because in 1966 almost all of the games streamed only on Facebook, which made it really hard given that Mark Zuckerberg’s mother was 8 (and probably a Mets fan.)

  8. I feel like FB has their hooks already into enough of people’s lives. Trying to force me to use FB for yet something else just feels too evil. Keep your tentacles out of my MLB, FB. But then again I guess I’m a luddite who happens to work in technology.

  9. which made it really hard given that Mark Zuckerberg’s mother was 8 (and probably a Mets fan.)

    Some tribes start ’em early.

  10. For all of the Matt Kemp farklempt, where would the “this was a horrible trade” play him this year? Assuming Ronaldinho returns to LF? Are you going to punt all defense in right to up Neck’s contract year with Kemp’s contract year?

  11. This is why Braves are being patient with market (

    Although Atlanta general manager Alex Anthopoulos has several areas of his roster that he could address in the coming weeks, a source with knowledge of the Braves’ thinking doesn’t anticipate a series of major moves coming between now and July 31.

    “They can address a lot of areas, but they’re not going to be able to address a lot of areas,” the source said. “In a perfect world, they could use a bullpen guy, a front-of-the-rotation starter and a big bat, but they’re not going to have the dollars to fill all those spots. They also don’t want to use that much prospect capital to fill that many holes.”

    With their rebuild moving faster than expected, the Braves also plan to wait until mid-to-late July before making any move.

  12. It’s not a matter of whether Kemp belonged in Atlanta. And as correctly noted, the trade was more about getting money pushed out of 2019, so it was a success the day the trade was made.

    It is disappointing that he had turned into a pumpkin, but it wasn’t the first time, and it won’t be the last. It just stinks that it has happened the way it has.

  13. @15

    I’m not even sure how much it stinks, to be honest. It was either Markakis or Kemp, and Markakis is going to be an All-Star starter (actual good first half division, not Bryce Harper fan recognition division) and his contract is up after this year while Kemp’s wasn’t. You can argue that Kemp has been slightly better than Markakis so far, and you might be right, but I don’t think there’s really even any on-field aspect to be particularly upset about. The only thing about the deal that didn’t work out at all for us was Scott Kazmir, and nobody really cared about that.

  14. @16

    The whole trade was predicated on the fact that Kemp was a huge blackhole in the team’s plans. It certainly stinks that we had to eat basically all of Kazmir’s deal and take back McCarthy just to get rid of him. We basically burned an additional $22M this year because he was bad. Now he’s not bad, so just because he doesn’t have a spot doesn’t mean it hasn’t hurt the team to eat that money.

  15. If Kemp were on this team, we’d not be talking about chasing Harper or Machado this off-season.

  16. One thing maybe influencing the continuation of Kemp’s “up” play is that he has rarely played 9 innings in a game. The Dodgers are pulling him after 6 or 7. So, if the sore knees and sore hips were knocking performance, then the Dodgers may have found the “sweet spot” where the wear doesn’t get to Kemp.

  17. Yeah, Liberty would much rather lie about “raising payroll when the time is right” and pocket the extra revenue.

    Though, in fairness, I would not want to sell the farm for Chris Archer. I think he’s overrated.

    I would like to see a few C prospects traded for a couple more relievers. If we can acquire an upgrade on Camargo (who has been perfectly cromulent) without giving up much, that’s good too.

  18. I know it’s bad to look at just the stat line, but I’m also looking at the prospect grades and FVs too, and man, it’s almost a certainty we’ll get a couple relievers if Herrera’s market is the market. I mean, I’ve had to fight the wolves to defend Matt-Wisler-as-trade-bait. I can see why the Braves are doing their 40-man contortions.

  19. That was a heck of a catch by Culberson, and that throw to 2nd on the double was pretty impressive too. The guy certainly plays hard, got to respect that.

  20. @29, agreed. Seems like everything is getting hit hard, even the outs, and there doesn’t seem to be much movement on his fastball. So he’s throwing a lot of main street fastballs and they’re getting clobbered.

  21. Ump is missing a lot of calls for soroka so far, especially in the 4th, at least according to gameday..

  22. No one so far has pointed out that Snit is DH’s Suzuki, batting sixth, behind Flowers (who is catching.) So not only do we literally have Tylurt Flowuzki hitting 5/6 tonight, but Snitker is WAY off the Bobby Cox Book and using both of his catchers in the game from the go.

  23. Every time I see Kevin Pillar I think it’s Kevin Millar, and think “man, that’s gotta be some crappy defense in CF.”

  24. Charlie Culberson strikes me as a guy that’s humble and recognizes his skill set needs to be supplemental with guile, scrap, piss, vinegar, and a dash of crazy.

    I like it.

  25. Bottoms up! Both the bottom of the the order and the back-end of the pen were fabulous tonight.

  26. I would have never believed that the Braves could score 11 runs and have the first 5 batters go 3 for 24.

  27. @54

    The deal is only exclusive inside the U.S. I don’t get MLB.TV, so I don’t know for sure, but I’m gonna guess you can’t in the U.S.

  28. I do want to echo that I love both catchers in the lineup against AL teams. Did Fredi do this ever with Gattis and McCann?

  29. On a more Ripley moment have we ever seen an at bat from our leader where he was struck out on three successive identical off speed pitches in exactly the same location each of which produced exactly the same futile swing none of which evinced any contact? All this midst a slugfest.

  30. FG has us up to 86 wins projected and a tie for the first wild card. That makes us an official playoff contender. Back at the beginning of the season, I thought we’d need to get 25 WAR from the offense and 16 WAR from the pitching to get to 87-88 projected wins and a real shot at the playoffs (and the division). FG has us currently at 13.2 WAR of offense and 7.1 WAR of pitching. They project 8.7 WAR on offense for the remainder of the season and 8.5 for the pitching. That tells me the team, as is, should get to about 21.9 WAR on offense and 15.6 of pitching. First, that represents an awful lot of regression on offense, but, OK, I’ll go with it. It tells me the pitching is on target – maybe adding a few tenths with a good reliever. It also tells me we need a boost on offense. We have been blessed with Flaherty at 3B when Camargo was injured and now Culberson has been a revelation with Acuna on the mend. Maybe we’ll be OK if Camargo keeps hitting grand slams and Acuna comes back and improves on his prior performance. Maybe Ender will hit .372 again in the second half. Seems like we need an upgrade somewhere. The only place I can think of is 3B. Maybe we need to wring another win or two out of the starters. Or bring in a rental starter or 3B. If Camargo starts/keeps hitting, an upgrade there might not make sense. Maybe a lack of regression will make up the difference all by itself.

  31. @63 – I’m starting to think our 21st ranked payroll has stretched the financial capacity of our 10th ranked market to the extent any trade will be prospect prohibitive.

    Hopefully, I’m wrong.

  32. My launch angle
    on which my hopes dangle
    is predicated on my power
    which, sadly, seems to dissipate by the hour.

  33. @56, I’m using ExpressVPN which is mostly great. Works on everything for me so far (except Netflix).

    But I was wrong, no game over here either, just FB. Wow, that just sucks.

  34. @67

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but can’t you folks who were already planning on watching the game through one online streaming service (MLB.TV) pretty easily migrate over to another online streaming service (Facebook Watch) to watch this game? Unless, I guess, you just don’t have a Facebook page.

  35. Plenty of notice, if you’re in the neighborhood.

    6 good tickets Cubs at Reds, tomorrow, FREE

    can be sent electronically.

    Strict understanding required. Conduct no future divorce business with you know who. He’s mine.

    Re FB today…my MLB TV shows the Braves game listed with all the others followed by ‘Unavailable’.

    Hate Facebook with a passion.

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