Braves 7, Orioles 3

Freddie Freeman drove in runners from 2nd and 3rd with nobody out in the 1st, and Charlie Culberson did the same with 2 out in the 3rd, leading the Braves in salvaging a game from the 3 game set.  Brandon McCarthy allowed the runs in his 5 innings, before Shane Carle, Jesse Biddle, Dan Winkler, and A.J. Minter shut the door.  After Friday night’s debacle, the bullpen bounced back with 8 1/3 innings of 2 hit scoreless ball to close out the series.

Dansby Swanson‘s 2 run pinch-hit homer in the bottom of the 8th cost Minter the save opportunity.  Ozzie Albies added 3 more hits and scored 2 runs, and Nick Markakis and Johan Camargo added 2 more hits each.

Arodys Vizcaino was placed on the 10 day DL prior to the game; Minter and Winkler are reportedly in line to close in the interim.

The Braves improve to 44 – 32 and open up a 2 game lead over the Phillies, pending the outcome of the Phillies – Nationals game Sunday night.  The Reds come to town on Monday.

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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.

125 thoughts on “Braves 7, Orioles 3”

  1. Rusty has blinked
    the absolute master of the succinct
    information compressed and well listed
    entirely his work, unassisted.

    Thank you, Rusty, for dragging us out of the loss column and back on the road to victory.

  2. Blazon,
    keeping the clerihew craze on.
    Not much said
    in the header of the daily open thread.

  3. Power Ranking Day (mlb.com):

    Biggest jump:

    The Braves jumped five spots, from No. 9 to No. 4. Atlanta, tops in the NL in OPS (.756) and slugging (.428), has relied on that offense during a stretch in which its pitching is being tested. The Braves scored 56 runs over their past 10 games but also allowed 43, and now they may be without their closer, Arodys Vizcaino (sore shoulder) for a period of time. The upcoming series with the Reds should be a good one — Cincinnati, six games over .500 since May 8, is coming off a four-game sweep of the Cubs.

    Biggest drop:

    The Nationals dropped five spots, from No. 7 to No. 12. Entering their finale with the Phillies on Sunday night, the Nats had lost nine of 12, mostly due to a slumping offense. Bryce Harper is struggling mightily — over his past 12 games through Saturday, he was hitting .103 with no homers and two RBIs.

  4. There may not be a much better time to make a big swing for the NL East than this season. The Nationals are crumbling. The Phillies are also still very young just like the Braves. The pennant is a very real possibility provided we make a good trade or two.

    At this point, I just hope the Phillies don’t strike first and strike big to shore up their team.

  5. Acuna is apparently riding the Gwinnett bus today.

    We should use our best Driver and carry a skeleton medical staff.

  6. I’m amazed that, after that injury, Acuna is walking unaided this soon, much less about to play a major league ball game.

  7. @4

    NOOOOOO!!!! We can’t risk trading a guy who may be good in 3-5 years for someone who doesn’t have a Voltron score above 24 vs AL East teams in day games!!!!!!

    Seriously, the future is now. Let’s get a starter and two relievers!

  8. Evan
    we’re in Evan
    and our heart beats so that we can scarcely speak
    and we seem to find the happiness we seek
    when we pitch him every day without a squeak.

  9. @10

    oh we like to climb the mountain
    and reach the highest peak
    but we don’t enjoy it half as much
    as closing with our freak.

    Evan, we’re in to Evan
    so the cares that hung around us just this week
    seem to vanish when we start our winning streak
    and he says he’s still not feeling his oblique.

  10. Cliff, if the team will only perform as well as you do every Monday, we’ll be in great shape.

  11. From MLBTR:

    Also from Cafardo, he adds the Red Sox and Braves to the list of teams with some interest in veteran third baseman Adrian Beltre. With Rafael Devers on Boston’s big league roster and top prospect Austin Riley down at Triple-A, both the Sox and Braves fit as teams that would be looking for a short-term upgrade like Beltre, who is only signed through this season. While Beltre seems like a natural trade chip for a Rangers team that is well out of contention, there still remains some speculation as to whether or not Texas will actually move him, as the team heavily values Beltre’s leadership and wants him on the roster in 2019. Beltre also has no-trade protection via 10-and-5 rights. Still, the Rangers are at least shopping Beltre (and other players) to gauge trade interest, and it can’t hurt that multiple contenders could be in the market for third base help.

    https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/06/trade-rumors-britton-red-sox-beltre-dodgers-boyd.html

    With Ender’s current mini-hot streak notwithstanding, the Braves could install Beltre and get really creative with their position players. Acuna could play some center, Camargo or Culberson could play some LF, SS, or 2B.

    But I just don’t see the Braves using their finite money outside of shoring up the bullpen, so I’d have to say that they probably don’t add a 3B the way things stand now.

  12. I had to do a spit take yesterday when Joe Simpson said this, referring to Kakes’ double off the right field wall: “You know I’m not big on launch angle and exit velocity, but I’d very much like to see the exit velocity on that. That was roped. It just didn’t get high enough.”

    Ok, really? Who doesn’t like exit velocity? And obviously he does since he was referring to how hard the ball was hit! That statement, to me, proves that Joe Simpson simply just doesn’t like anything new.

    Joe Simpson: He hit that ball hard!

    Someone: Yeah, it was hit 102.3 MPH.

    Joe Simpson: That’s cool. How did you know that?

    Someone: It’s a new stat called “exit velocity”.

    Joe Simpson: New stat? I don’t like it.

    Someone: But you just said you liked that he hit the ball hard and I thought it was cool that I knew it went 102.3 MPH. Why would you not like the stat that tracks it?

    Joe Simpson: Don’t like it.

    See, I don’t really care about Chip’s mistakes. He’s excited, and sometimes he does boneheaded stuff. But his heart is in the right place, I feel, and I’d rather an announcer err because of excitement and aggressive vs. other types of announcers. Joe is in his own territory of “Angry Man Yells At Cloud” when it comes to the game of baseball, and that just doesn’t have any place in a baseball booth.

  13. Chip, in my opinion, is a lot like Skip, except Skip had that dry delivery like we were all in on a joke, and Chip doesn’t have that at all. Chip would do better to do the whole game in Skip’s voice.

    In fairness to Chip, my recaps are better read in Skip’s voice too.

  14. I was off doing other things all weekend, and I saw two losses to the friggin’ O’s and then I skimmed the threads here a bit and I assumed we were now 23 games back in the division. But apparently, The Bulge* remains intact, though there seems to be some incursion from the Philadelphia Engorgement.

    *The Bulge is relative only to the Nationals, I think

  15. @16

    Rob

    The sad fact about ageing and leaving our youth behind to the tender mercies of others is that we become at the same time more out of touch with what is new yet we may be exponentially wiser.

    There are those of us who feel the beauty of a line drive high off the wall is diminished by someone talking/writing about its launch angle, its exit velocity. The old are much more likely to be in that group than you are.

    So leave Joe be please. He’s already lived through two of your current lifetimes, he does no harm.

  16. Is it really so hard to understand that launch angle and exit velocity are just newer, more concrete ways to talk about being “just under the ball” or “topping the ball too much” while “hitting the ball hard” or “making poor contact?” Is your dotage really that far gone, old man?

  17. @19

    Yes, and you were at the time commended for it! Clutching on to propriety information/math on these rabid pages is not for the faint of heart. Stand up and be counted, just as you did today!

  18. @16 I’m really smart and don’t give two rips about a ball’s exit velocity or launch angle. I don’t mind tracking those as stats, but it’s fairly irrelevant compared to the actual result. I might look to exit velocity if a guy is 0 for his last 30 but appears to be getting good contact. What is it even good for apart from that?

    Launch angle is not some new thing. Tracking it as a stat is new. Still I don’t care if announcers call it out. In fact, don’t waste any breath on that garbage. Or do, I still don’t mind either way.

  19. @21

    Apparently, yes. Clockwork Orange does you no justice, Sam. I don’t even want to know, at that time, that the hitter got under the ball or topped it or whatever. I want to enjoy the moment. As does Joe.

    Now, consider the opening bars of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. You sit back and listen to something very special, if you are blessed with any sensitivity. Doubtful, i must confess, in your case. You do not forage or quibble why he put that note there rather than this one.

    Old age may not have been kind to you yet, Sam. Hopefully, it will soon arrive. And to be called ‘boy’ and ‘old man’ by you in the same week without a wisp of humor suggest your pejoratives are running dry. Take care of yourself, for Pete’s sake.

  20. What rankles me is the knee-jerk anti-intellectualism implied in the notion that studying something somehow cheapens it. I grew up listening to Joe Simpson and I’ll always have a fondness for him and Don and the late Pete and Skip, but I hate the lowest-common-denominatorism that leads a broadcaster to feel he has to denigrate a new stat before he has permission to cite it.

    Pete wouldn’t have done that.

  21. @Stu

    I thought you weren’t quite as confident about Beck, though I am admittedly too lazy to look it up.

    Also, I hate the Twitter embed plugin.

  22. We’ve been measuring “enter-velocity” for a long time now. I doubt Joe has a problem with that. On second thought, he probably does.

  23. I guess there is another summary for our entry in the MLB PUH-PUH-PUH-POWER RANKINGS!!!1!1!!!

    4. Braves (9)
    Atlanta is proving to be a major player in the NL East and, three months into the season, should no longer be presumed to be weaker than the Nationals based solely on last year’s standings. What’s impressive is that the young Braves are going through growing pains while maintaining their place among the elite teams. Still, if proof is needed that baseball is indeed a long season, consider this: Atlanta’s rotation, entering the finale with Baltimore on Sunday, had allowed 16 runs over 21 1/3 innings over four games, but in their previous six, had allowed just two runs over 36 innings.

  24. @24

    I might look to exit velocity if a guy is 0 for his last 30 but appears to be getting good contact. What is it even good for apart from that?

    I do agree that it’s mostly for entertainment purposes, and knowing the exact exit velos are not that helpful. But to your point, I would like to know if a guy is putting the screws to the ball and came up with nothing. I was listening to the games over the weekend and I was in-and-out on watching, but it really seemed like Danny Santana was hitting the ball hard. Exit velo would really help the Braves evaluate him better.

    I really wish Kakes cared more about launch angle. It just seems so obvious to me that his exit velo tells me he should hit for more power. Put the ball in the air, Kakes!

  25. No, I said they’d sign Beck, just that I wasn’t sure how far above slot they’d have to go to get it done. I could see them having to go to all the way to $1.5 million with his bonus.

    The big unknowns (for me) are how far under slot Stewart’s number is and how far over slot Beck’s number is. Paying those two guys significantly ($1 million+) less combined money than I’m expecting would be the way in which Hess suddenly becomes “maybe signable” instead of “not signable”.

  26. My problem with complaints about exo velo and the newer StatCast driven information is that it’s LITERALLY the same thing we’ve always talked about, just in more concrete terms. When they raved about a prospect with “a different sound off the bat” what they meant is he squared it up and hit the ball super hard, so much so that it made a sound that only happens for special hitters (or Jason Heyward before the league had a book on him.)

    Now they say “he has world class exit velocity,” which means he squares the ball up and hits it hard. It’s the same conversation, but with a measurable attached to it.

  27. And the idea that knowing what and how and why a “moment” occurred undermines the joy of that “moment” is just a level of crazy I can’t fathom.

  28. @30 Kakes was putting more lift on the ball earlier in the season. He was literally singing the praises of launch angle back in April.

    If that has (somehow) changed, then that explains the dramatic drop in home runs…

    @26 I sometimes feel that the advanced metrics have led to dumber conversations among fans… such as focusing discussions on probable eventual outcomes (like regression) as opposed to just enjoying the outcomes that are happening. What I see are a few people (at other sites) dominating the discussions with well-constructed arguments about events that aren’t even happening. Why not just talk about the story that is actually unfolding?

  29. @34 How about those folks who argue the what, how, and why it’s all going to come tumbling down? Those are the kinds of discussions I frequently see away from here.

  30. Every person on this board arguing for the Braves to trade some of their prospects for a reliever or a name-brand third baseman are discussing “probable eventual outcomes” rather than “just enjoying the outcomes as they are happening.”

    Including yourself, Donny, up there @4.

  31. Kakes hit 7 HRs in the first two months and he has hit one in June. His OPS in June is 80 points less than April/May, but that’s also because of a dip in batting average and on-base percentage. With that said, he’s also currently leading the league in hits and doubles. He’s quite good even if he doesn’t hit home runs, but I sure wish he would.

  32. IMO there’s nothing that interesting to discuss about the Braves anyway. The rebuild has worked. It may falter with catastrophic injury, but when it was unclear what would become of this team, it made for better meta-discussion. One person on here — Roger — has taken it upon himself to steer the conversation around in-season improvements like it isn’t blindingly obvious what the team needs. It’s not like AA isn’t going to try to acquire help where it’s obvious we need it. If he can’t, he can’t. It was never interesting to bemoan our lack of financial resources or flexibility, and it isn’t interesting now.

    That more or less leaves putting Newcomb under the microscope every start or just enjoying the season.

  33. AA has stated publicly that he is not going to make a move early, because there are so many potential areas that could use an upgrade that he doesn’t know which one would make the largest impact. And he is going to wait until the later edge of the trading window to make a decision, so he can have all of the information (including things like an injury to his nominal closer, or if Johan Camargo gets hurt or something, or if Ronald Acuna has trouble coming back form injury…)

  34. Definitely there’s a sound argument or two for waiting until the end of the trading period. If you use up prospect capital now, for say a middle reliever, and then we have an unexpected injury to a key player in July, we’ll be in a bad spot.

    The risk of waiting is mostly that we fall out of contention as our team lacks these same pieces that everyone wants to trade for. But, since that’s not happening yet…maybe chilling out is the right approach.

  35. To bolster the “wait for it” argument, if our presence in contention is so tenuous that we might fall out completely between now and the end of July, then perhaps we’re not quite to the “trade for the final pieces now!” phase of the program.

  36. Doesn’t look like they think all that highly of Phillips.

    Sims is still here for some reason.

  37. As to the use of “new” statistics, my perspective was shaped profoundly by my exposure to Bill James in the early to mid 1980’s. Younger fans cannot grasp how much resentment he created with his new fangled ideas, e.g., that batting average is not nearly as important as on base percentage and secondary average, that wins are not a good measure of pitcher effectiveness or quality, or that fielding percentage is not a good measure of defense. These ideas are commonplace today of course (except among a very few old timers).

    So, although I don’t fully understand or keep up with all the new metrics, I’m with Alex in strongly disagreeing with the notion that trying to study and understand something cheapens it. I loved baseball before the sabermetric revolution, but I think I enjoy it at least as much now. Reading those Bill James Abstracts from 1982-88 was a real delight.

  38. @42, this is the wrong way to look at it IMO. There is no way to know what the margin is between winning the division/making the wildcard/missing the playoffs altogether. So you must maximize your potential wins. Waiting to fill an obvious need because there might be another need that needs filling later is like holding your best reliever out of the game just in case a save situation arises.

  39. Sims’ spot shouldn’t be in jeopardy. They need a long man. They may actually like what they see in Jackson’s last 4.2 IP across 4 outings where he hasn’t given up any runs. For his Braves’ career, he has a 4.19 FIP over 59 IP. And of course, he’s dirt cheap, under control, and young enough to where he could get better.

    Peter Moylan, by contrast, has none of those things other than the fact that they’ve got $1M tied up in him that they inexplicably don’t want to bury. He’s given up 7 ER in his last 6.2 IP, and he’s allowing 43% of inherited runners to score, by far tops on the staff with the second-most amount of inherited runners. Only Freeman has inherited more runners, and he’s allowing 29% to score, the second-worst total amongst full-time relievers.

    I get it, they want to give Moylan as much time to right the ship as possible, but he really has to run out of leash soon.

  40. I agree that Jackson has pitched well. His numbers at Gwinnett were really good too. There may be a reason they gave him a guaranteed MLB contract.

    I guess they want Sims up for long relief in case Folty isn’t right. Jackson just pitched 2.1 IP Saturday.

  41. The more I think about it, I just can’t get mad about sending Phillips down. He just didn’t pitch like a big leaguer while he was up. They just didn’t see anything from him that moved the needle.

  42. What is questionable is that they put Phillips on the 40 man when they could have called up one of the other guys already there if it’s just for a day or 2 (Bell, McCreery, Hursh).

  43. @49 What’s worse is that the first Freeman/Moylan joint meltdown came in the first Reds game in April. Those who don’t learn are destined to make the same mistakes. Also, the second Reds game was one of those ninth inning rallies that went to waste in the 12th. I hope history does not keep repeating itself. If I recall, that was one of the first times everyone thought this team was going to drop like a rock and they didn’t (i.e. “can’t even beat the last place Reds” kind of thing)

  44. The more I think about it, I just can’t get mad about sending Phillips down. He just didn’t pitch like a big leaguer while he was up. They just didn’t see anything from him that moved the needle.

    Over the weekend I took one of my bi-decadal trips to the annual SABR conference. (I will go drink with some old Baseball Primer/Usenet friends once every 3-5 years at this annual conference; I am not a SABR member.) This year it was in Pittsburgh. I got in Friday afternoon, in time to slide into the event held for the group at PNC Park. Basically, we all bought tickets and were allowed inside PNC three hours before game time. Then Clint Hurdle, Dan Fox and Neal Huntington spoke and took Q&A.

    Fox is a former Primer/Usenet guy who is now running the Pirates’ internal analytics process, top to bottom. (Colin Wyer does the same for the Astros these days.) During the Q&A with him and Huntington, a question was posed about weighing stats against “other things” (i.e. “intangibles, in old school parlance) and Huntington’s answer was telling. To paraphrase:

    If a guy has bad measurables (ERA, OBA, etc) but good “physical indicators” they have a conversation about if he stays or goes. If he has bad numbers on both charts, he goes. Obviously, high performers stay.

    What I took away is that the Buccos, and likely every other organization, has a measurable evaluation process for things other than the stats we all consume regularly, and a guy like Phillips probably scored low on them (as well as the baseline ERA type numbers.)

  45. I strongly disagree about Philips. I think he looked like Mariano Rivera when he was called up. He will be our secret weapon in the 2nd half.

  46. @47: Completely agree, tfloyd, on all counts. But what is really interesting about this particular debate, as Sam said, is that we are simply measuring something we didn’t measure before, not doing what Bill James memorably did (and the number of people he turned into statisticians is unparalleled) which is take the data you have and decide what to do with it. StatCast is great, but we still are only deciding what good it is… what’s wheat and what’s chaff. Bill James true genius was drawing brilliant inferences in scientific ways from what was already in plain sight, requiring nothing more than old fashioned spreadsheets from a night watchman with a love of baseball, an inquisitive and open mind, and time on his hands.

  47. Freddie looked really bad in that AB. Swung at two balls. Somehow, he needs to get his head re-adjusted.

  48. and now a pop up by freddie, he hardly ever does that; I agree that something might be bothering him

  49. Folty’s trying for the Dock Ellis-esque no-hitter. I mean the walks, not the LSD (presumably).

  50. Here we go again. Last time Folty got pulled after 5 against the Reds, the bullpen imploded. I was hoping they’d let him get to 100 pitches.

  51. Three southpaws in the pen. Three of the first four batters are lefties, and we bring in Sims. WTF?

  52. sigh, I used to think Sims could be good (last year)…I like how there is no one warming in the bullpen even after he walks in a run, WTF is going on with snitker?

  53. “Infield fly and that’s going to retire him. It was actually on the infield this time.”

    Well played, Chip. Well played.

  54. I know that Folty is in his first start back and we’re trying to baby him or whatever, but this is asinine. Sorry, he has to come back out for this inning if Lucas freaking Sims is the alternative. There shouldn’t even be a choice in the matter.

    Real fun will be when he comes back out for the next inning.

  55. @87: In a sense, although the real gift was from Snitker to the Reds, by bringing Sims in in that spot.

  56. While sitting at the airport waiting for my flight, I just watched two planes moved into each other here in Tokyo. Crazy. Anyway, go Ender!

  57. That was Sam Freeman doing what he does. No reason to use him in anything close to a high leverage situation. He apparently isn’t cut out for it.

  58. Reds mgr knows how to use pitchers … wish Snit did.. if they don’t go get bullpen help .. team is toast

  59. Sam Freeman was so good that he gets to pitch another inning.

    Winkler and Minter didn’t pitch yesterday.

    Edit: Never mind, they both did.

  60. After using Carle, Biddle, Winkler, and Minter yesterday, and Sims and Freeman so far, who’s available? Jackson, Moylan, and… one of Winkler and Minter? Then Carle, Biddle, one of Winkler/Minter, and Freeman tomorrow? Sheesh, if you’re going to lose, might as well get blown out and use Sims/Jackson for several innings.

  61. Minter hasn’t been good going back to back days…so the hope is I would guess use Winkler in the 9th and hope we can score.

  62. Lucas Sims… Lucas Sims… was brought in to face the 3rd, 7th, and 10th hitters in the NL in wRC+. That’s one Snit move I can’t defend.

  63. Well I see where this going .. I’m gone to bed .. just like the Oriole marathon.. we blew too many chances tonight .. our bullpen stinks ..

  64. Luke Jackson. If the game wasn’t officially punted before, it has been now.

  65. Ozzie to the rescue!!!! He is on some kind of tear.

    Sometimes swinging at the first pitch……. works. HaHa!!

  66. Oz man!

    Well I guess one positive of being off work with a broken leg is getting to stay up and watch that! Next time though let’s keep Sims away from a tight lead and just win in regulation.

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