Quad A Team 10, 15 Innings of Frustration 7

So, what had happened….

The Friday Night Frustrations continued as the Braves dropped a comletely winnable game in the most Braves-like fashion to the feckless Baltimore Orioles.

Sean Newcomb pitched the worst looking seven innings of 5 hit one run ball you’ll ever see, while Alex Cobb, he of the 2-9 record and almost 8.00 ERA on the road this year looked like vintage Greg Maddux. Newk was working deep counts to Oriole hitters, and while he walked only two, he benefitted from a couple of double plays and had a runner thrown out at second on a nice play by Folk Hero Charlie Culberson. Even the only run he allowed was frustrating, as he surrendered a home run to Chris Davis, who can’t even SEE the freaking Mendoza Line at this point and was hitting, oh, about, -.500 against lefties.

Meanwhile Cobb was mowing down the Bravos through the first three innings. Then in the 4th he gave up back to back singles to start the inning to Ender Inciarte and Ozzie Albies. A Freddie Freeman groundout advanced them to second and third, but Nick Markakis fouled out as did Tyler Flowers.

In the 7th, Atlanta finally got on the board with a Dansby Swanson triple followed by a Johan Camargo double to tie it up. In the 8th, Folk Hero Charlie Culberson gave the Braves a temporary lead when he doubled in Albies and Freeman.

That lead lasted all of about 4 minutes, as Dan Winkler came on to earn blow his first major league save. Apparently Arodys Vizcaino had a sore shoulder and was unavailable. At least we got that going for us. Adam Jones led off with a single, Manny Machado walked, and…

You know. Too much. I’ll sum up. 3 more singles, two doubles – one a questionable fair/foul directly over the barest micrometer of the third base corner, a sacrifice fly, and two pitching changes later, it was 7-3 Balmer, with Zach Britton warming up.

THAT lead lasted all of about FIVE minutes as …

Also too much. More summing up. Three singles, a hit by pitch, two doubles and Freddie thrown out at the plate and it’s 7-7, with Markakis at third with one out. So, of course, TFlo strikes out out on three pitches, and Swanson flies out to end the rally.

Shane Carle pitched a shaky 10th and a shut down 11th. Jesse Biddle tossed three perfect frames, looking reaaly good while doing so. Meanwhile the Braves were wasting at bats and opportunities, making the Oriole pen look much better than they are. Both Markakis and Danny Santana just missed homers to end it, with Santana’s flyball caught against the fence with the fielder reaching above the home run line to haul it in.

Meanwhile, Peter Moylan came on to pitch the 15th, with predictably frustrating results. Moylan hit Craig Gentry with a pitch to open the frame. After a sac bunt, rather than walk Machado, who is the only Oriole who scares you, Moylan hung a meatball which Machado drove into the stands. Not satisfied with crushing the souls of the fans who stayed for 5 hours, Moylan then let Colby Rasmus, hitting all of .110 or so, single, and be driven in by Jonathon Schoop, who also is stuggling to hit his weight. 10-7, and game over.

Anyway, it’s probably wrong to attach too much importance to one loss. So, I will refrain from crying DOOOMED. Julio Teheran takes the mound this afternoon, looking to restore order.

41 thoughts on “Quad A Team 10, 15 Innings of Frustration 7”

  1. Like I said in the previous thread, I didn’t watch this game. If I did, I may feel differently. But the bullpen doesn’t blow many games, and this is bound to happen, especially if Vizzy was unavailable. You just simply have to trust your best reliever to get the last 3 outs, and Winkler didn’t do that.

    But Freeman and Moylan are statistically not what they were expecting, and I have to think both will be gone. Gwinnett had a double-header yesterday, and Evan Phillips didn’t pitch in either games. I would have to think that we may see a permanent end to Moylan (maybe even his career?), and Phillips take his place. I’d also be interested to see if Biddle takes over Freeman’s role, and Fried replaces Freeman.

    They clearly said at the beginning of the year that they were going to give as long of a look as possible at some of the option-less retreads, and I hope they feel like they did that with Moylan. I just can’t see anything getting better for him. Freeman really can’t be the second lefty out of the pen too.

    I love how Winkler blows the first save opportunity he’s been given considering how “old school” the manager is considered, especially how it relates to assigned bullpen roles and The Closer(TM) role.

  2. I can see giving Moylan his walking papers. He’s credible against RH and a disaster against LH. But not great against either and doesn’t fill enough innings to be useful. Both Freeman (.214) and Jackson (.130 for crying out loud) have great batting averages against. Freeman has had a couple of high profile meltdowns and pitched well the rest of the time. All three suffer from the “walk” disease. I would have taken Moylan out to protect the opposing batters’ safety yesterday. I’m not saying Freeman and Jackson are an answer to anything just that they’re not that stinky.

    If Viz has a sore shoulder, place him on the 10-day DL and get us a pitcher that can help up here.

    Interesting to compare Moylan to O’Day – both sidearming throwers with not much velocity. Even at 87-89MPH, O’Day throws a rising FB that is tough to hit. Folks were griping at Ozzie for swinging but that is what most batters do against O’Day. Moylan does not have the same effect. He throws his pitch in the same plane crossing the plate from right to left. O’Day’s method seems to be far superior.

    I am still NOT impressed with the way AA is handling this team. The call-ups don’t seem to have much logic and there is no indication he has any intention of making easy significant improvements.

    Another interesting observation made by the O’s broadcast team was that the field was wet at the beginning and both the IF and OF was slow likely enhancing the performances of Cobb and Newk. By the late innings, the field had dried and the ball was moving significantly faster on the ground which probably helped lead to the melee at the end.

    Also, with regards to the O’s dreadful play, you have to be careful because they are getting a lot of players back from injury (including Britton and O’Day and Rasmus and Trumbo) and Davis had taken about two weeks off to work on his hitting. Trumbo and Schoop are just starting to get straightened out. The Braves may pay a penalty for all of that coming together. Today is Dylan Bundy, the O’s ace, so be prepared for another low-scoring game.

  3. Given the financial and other benefits to pitching in the big leagues, I find it amazing that there seems to always be a short supply of decent relief pitchers.

    Or is pitching that hard?

  4. He hadn’t pitched in 5 days!

  5. “Sean Newcomb pitched the worst looking seven innings of 5 hit one run ball you’ll ever see…” I bet when you pitch like that, you get a free bowl of soup.

  6. I am still NOT impressed with the way AA is handling this team. The call-ups don’t seem to have much logic and there is no indication he has any intention of making easy significant improvements.

    We have lots of pitching prospects, but he really doesn’t have much else to work with. He tried throwing pitching prospects at the problem, and for a variety of reasons, it hasn’t worked.

    At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. Our four highest paid players are Freeman, Kazmir, Gonzalez, and McCarthy, so the hand-WRINGING over the roster moves have much more to do with the fact that we’re paying our entire bullpen less than Tommy Hunter is being paid by Philadelphia. I’m not saying we needed to go all Colorado Rockies on the pen, but we’re just simply cycling through waiver claims, failed prospects, and other buy-low options.

  7. @7 Or why I’ve said all along that until the Braves spend legitimate money on a Type A FA or at LEAST a proven HAMMER reliever/setup man type that scares someone, I will not believe that they are legitimately trying to win. There is a big difference in trying to compete and trying to win. We are STILL trying to compete, IMO.

  8. @9 This isn’t true either. The point of my post is not to chide ownership. They have $22M tied up in players unseen and were never supposed to be seen. Whether that was a strategic blunder or it just “is what it is” is very debatable and argument, but the fact that they don’t have the players you described is not because they refused to spend the money required to acquire them.

  9. There have been several articles floating around that read like pre-registration of excuses. The Braves are way over the limit for what MLB considers valid debt ratios, and there’s at least *some* pressure for them to hold expenditures steady until revenue increases. However, it’s not a “hard” limit and really sounds like the lamest of lame excuses.

    I’ll reserve judgement and give AA the summer, but right now I don’t like the sound of things.

  10. I remain astonished at how far removed the tone of the comments are around here from the apparent quality of the team after a rough loss. It’s a 162 game season people.

  11. Santana and Flaherty are the stuff of pitchers’ nightmares. Dansby hitting behind them speaks volumes of his recent production.

  12. It’s not a fashion show, but it amazes me that Colby Rasmus has made $47M playing baseball and looks worse than many homeless people.

  13. If Julio can get the final out here, it’s gotta be a tough decision for Snit on what to do next.

  14. When you allow a 1.302 OPS to Chris Davis over two days, you kinda deserve to get your butt kicked.

  15. I take it all back. Getting walloped twice by the O’s is definitive proof that we’re dooooooooooomed.

  16. Baseball isn’t like football where you look at schedule strength and chalk up easy wins. It’s more about how you are playing than your opponent’s record. We really need Acuna back.

  17. We get Bundy in a tough spot so Culbertson swings at 3 balls and Ender swings at the first pitch (yet again) and let’s him off the hook

  18. I told you all to be wary of the O’s. They are not the same team they were two weeks ago or especially a month. Trumbo is creaming the baseball – something like 3-4 HRs in the last few games. Davis just resurrected his swing over two weeks of not playing at all and was just inserted for the first time this weekend. This is the first series all year that Rasmus and Trumbo have been in the lineup at the same time. Also, Britton’s first series and he looked good today. Not to mention that Bundy is a shut down starter. If you hit bad teams at the wrong time, they will win games. And Teheran is a HR or nothing pitcher where the O’s are a HR or nothing hitting team. Bad combo. Every team wins 50-60. And, of course, the Braves have now lost six in a row to the O’s.

  19. I’ll give you some regression but what is killing us is depth. I think Chief is right; we need a strong bullpen addition – a lock down pitcher or a FA SP. The current rotating of arms with AAA is not enough. Injuries are catching up to us. Teheran, Folty, Soroka, Fried, Gohara, Viz, McCarthy, Lindgren, Ravin have all been banged up or on the DL with at least minor and some serious injuries. That’s a lot of lost depth at one time or another. Either more of the farm needs to be used (and drop some 40-man dead weight) or we need to bring someone in from outside.

    You can’t blame the offense. We lost these two games scoring 7 and 5 runs. That’s plenty to win. AA has to get busy and get us some pitching depth.

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