cliff and Ozzie call the shot: Braves 5, Reds 4

Yes, yesterday I called a Braves win. I was tired of recapping losses, tired of the insults trying to tie me to other losses on other days of the week for which I had no responsibility, tired of being morose.

Likewise Ozhaino Albies called it, to Danny Santana: “I told Santana, it’s time to go long now, time to go deep.” Amen.

We started it the right way. Top of 1 Joey Votto worked a 2 out walk after 10 pitches. Duh, he is Votto. On to bottom half and the Braves started pounding. Ender Inciarte walked and Ozzie doubled (moved to 3rd on the throw) and after Freddie couldn’t get it done and Neck was intentionally walked, Curt Suzuki hit a sac fly. 2 to 0 Braves.

Each team added one in the 5th.

In the 6th, Snit brought in Lucas Sims. I have long thought that somehow Sims would develop into a useful piece. Last night has place that hope into the same category with the possibility of Donald Trump and Maxine Waters being civil to each other. Upon the transforming power of God brought down to earth, but otherwise, forget it. So, he promptly gave up 2, but it could have been worse.

Well Sam I am not Freeman came in and gave up one. Like, did anybody doubt that? But, I told you, I called this a win, so it was NOT over.

Well Danny Santana doubled in a run in the 7th to tie it and it was on to extra innings. Extra Innings were formerly called “Free Baseball” by Skip Caray. This year it has been more like “Imprisoned Baseball” for the Braves. But I told you, I called it a win.

So Ozzie walks to the plat to lead off the bottom of 11. Bam. That is it.

88 thoughts on “cliff and Ozzie call the shot: Braves 5, Reds 4”

  1. If Trae Young fails to develop into the Hawks version of Steph Curry, it’s Cliff’s fault.

  2. Returning to Snit’s bullpen decisions…. Monday night, with a four-run lead, we used our closer in the 9th, because “he was already warmed up”. Tonight his use of Sims had everyone blasting Lucas. Managers are often praised for putting “players” in a spot where they can succeed.” Sims is a starter who is transitioning to relief. He’s a young right-hander, brought into a tight game, to face the Reds’ best hitters, mostly all lefty hitters. Snit hung Sims out to dry with that decision. Obviously, the Braves see something in Lucas at AAA, that makes them think he can help us. They might know what they’re doing. I blame Snit and will give Sims a pass on this one. FWIW, Luke Jackson, another frequently criticized reliever, looked really sharp tonight, and has been consistently good lately.

  3. @5

    Eh… The bullpen had been taxed of late and I think the thought was Simms could go 2 + innings.

    It’s a 162 game season, can play every game like it is game seven of the World Series.

  4. It’s just one game, but those are the games that bad Braves teams always lose and good Braves teams somehow still win. This team is more than the sum of its parts, and even with an iffy bullpen, a really streaky offense, and a not-the-sharpest-tool-in-the-shed manager, they have gone wire to wire as the best team in the division and arguably the best in the league. At a certain point, I’m gonna start believing my lyin’ eyes.

  5. @6

    That’s my point. Snit managed like it was game 7 on Monday. Tonight, use Biddle or Freeman vs their lefties in the 6th, and use Sims in the 7th. Duh.

  6. Cliff, I knew you’d come through for us. It would be churlish to point out that the Braves actually won this game on Tuesday, so I won’t.

  7. Bob, I tend to disagree with a lot of the Snitker criticism over the bullpen use. This isn’t an elite bullpen, and the situations are made far more complicated by starters who are out by the 6th inning multiple nights in a row. We only see the metrics for these players and know who the better matchups ought to be, but there’s another layer of information and perspective we’re not privy to.

    Regarding Minter’s use on Sunday is really splitting hairs. Swanson pinch hit for Winkler and put the Braves up by 2 more runs (insurance FTW), so Winkler was out and Minter was ready. The difference is easily erased by a few hits if things go south, so it’s not like the game was out of hand anyway.

    Regarding Sims: If he ever had designs on being a major league starter, he’s going to have to retire those guys some how some way. I wouldn’t say Snitker hung him out to dry. Somebody was going to have to face those guys. Was Sims the most well-rested? Were we hoping to not burn another arm, which we probably ended up doing anyway? Sims has the less desirable role of being that guy who is being asked to come in and try and save the bullpen a little. I don’t think anyone is grading Sims harshly for the outcomes in that situation.

    Frankly, I’m sure Snitker would love a couple more veteran arms for the bullpen so he can save the confidence of his younger pitchers in those situations.

  8. It’s really hard for me to take seriously the stat lines of the starters on the Gwinnett shuttle working in relief. The ERAs of the 4 starters (Wisler, Sims, Fried and Gohara) who have worked long out of the pen is 5.66, and that’s heavily influenced by Wisler’s 4.37 ERA in 22 IP and Fried’s 5 ER in 11 IP (4.09 ERA). So I’m not sure how well this thing is working so far.

    Jackson’s 3 ER in 10 IP, though, is starting to look interesting. Walks are high, but K’s are through the roof (11.7/9). It’d be neat if the trade tree of Heyward/Shelby led to Tyrell Jenkins who led to Luke Jackson. Considering Jenkins is already out of baseball, Jackson could be a steal.

  9. The only thing I might have done different is bring Sims in the game during the 7th and had Freeman pitch to the middle of the order in the 6th.

    At some point, Sims has got to get guys out or stop getting called up. He doesn’t have good enough stuff to have poor command.

  10. If Sims had gotten through the 6th, they’d have probably had him pitch the 7th. If the offense puts more runs across and made some separation, they could have thrown Freeman, Moylan, or Biddle and then went to Minter to close it.

    The problem is that while we’ve had 2 days off within this stretch, but we’ve only had 2 “blowout” type games in 9 games. So while we keep a long man on the roster, we don’t really use him much. We’ve found ourselves in a lot of close games.

    DeRo’s on MLB Network talking about our starting pitching. Shehadi, Flores, and DeRo all think we’re contenders. Just imagine if we really fill out of our roster.

  11. There’s just not much better than reading the previous night’s game thread following a win that seemed unlikely.

  12. The Cubs put Shae Simmons on waivers. He couldn’t be worse than Moylan, could he?

    Edit: He has been awful in Triple A, so yes, he probably could.

  13. The Nationals are in an interesting place right now. Someone asked earlier at what point they ought to consider pulling the plug. That seems drastic considering they are still projected to win ~89-90ish games and could still very well enter the playoffs if not as division winners then as a wild card. They are definitely still buyers at the deadline this year, I think.

  14. @12
    “At some point, Sims has got to get guys out or stop getting called up. He doesn’t have good enough stuff to have poor command.”

    This is exactly right. He had ten starts last year. He’s had plenty of time to get acclimated to MLB hitters. It’s on him at this point.

    I used to think he could turn into what Mike Bielecki was for us in the mid ’90’s, but I’ve pretty much given up on him.

  15. It’s way too soon to give up on a guy like Sims. He may not have the stuff to be a good reliever, but 10 starts with last year’s team is not enough to judge a guy. He still has potential.

  16. The outcome of the game doesn’t change the fact that Sims is bad.

    That Sims is bad doesn’t change the fact that some people rather comically use this blog’s comments section as a kind of emotional relief valve if the team happens to be losing a game, any game, in the late innings. Or if particular players happen to be slumping, etc.

    I would change nothing about any of above.

    There’s no one clearly better than Sims who isn’t getting a shot.

    And we are all TAD on this blessed day.

  17. @14

    No kidding.

    Over the last two weeks I have seen people here want to fire Snit, bench Freeman, trade 3/4 of the rotation and Kakes, send Inciarte to AAA, pinch hit for Santana (in a game he was 2-2 in)

    DOOOOOOOOOMED!!! Oh wait…

  18. Well, I don’t know if I’ve read most of what you’re saying here, though the internet overall is full of plenty anti-Snit sentiment. The quantity of the “meltdown” people that only come on the site is pretty small. Tad, Chief, and Gaz are pretty much the only people that come on when someone is struggling to do their “I told you so” or “Braves are this, that, or another” routine. And I think that’s going to exist just about everywhere, and I hope it’s less and less here.

  19. To echo Alex, I went to bed after regulation. I woke up surprised we won based on our extra innings record and thin pen. But they’re Finding Ways to Win(TM) and that’s the sign of a really good team. And even with the injuries, a pretty deep roster, all things considered.

  20. Ozzie is on a 162-game pace 134 games into his career to hit .275/.328./487 with 28 home runs, 41 doubles, and 18 stolen bases in 23 chances. In those 134 games, he’s accumulated 4.3 fWAR. He’s good. It’s interesting that his walk percentage went from 8.6% in his 244 PAs last year to 5.0% in his 344 PAs this year. Interestingly, he had a higher stolen base pace last year. He’s become a completely different style of hitter this year.

  21. The Nats are being held hitless through 5 by… Nathan Eovaldi and the superb defense of the Tampa Bay Rays. And they’re in third place 4 games back.

    Life is good.

  22. @31
    Yeah, he’s basically playing like peak Jimmy Rollins as a 20/21 year old. It’s very exciting to see what he’ll become. Also, he’s hilarious.

  23. Batting averages aren’t everything, but these are the BAs of Washington’s lineup with a DH: .301, .216, .286, .321, .186, .262, .243, .245, .173 (remember, not the pitcher). And I wish I could tell you OBP and SLG are much better, but I’d be lying.

    With that said, their pitcher is currently the best in baseball, scares people with his freaky eyes, and has a 2.09 ERA.

  24. @34

    We have a pitcher who looks very like an ostrich. Much scarier.

    Charlie Sheen – perfect.

    Chief is fine, just predictable in bad situations but has many positives too. He’s no TAD.

  25. @29 . Yep .. I stayed up and told Albies please quit swinging at 1st pitch right before he swung and hit it out .. what do i know.. I’m just a fan that gets agrivated like others when they don’t do what I say do … lol .. but we may set record one of these days of opposing pitcher only using 3 pitches to end the inning with Inciarte .. Albies and Freeman .. I never seen 3 guys swing at more 1st pitches .. where ever it is ….

  26. Nationals and Rays pushing and shoving after the game. Nats were swept in the series and shut out the last two games. I’ve been in and out, so I don’t know why.

  27. Ozzie Albies walks off in Atlanta in the very early hours. Lionel Messi has just scored a glorious goal in St Petersburg, Russia on the shores of the Baltic. That we saw both, as they happened, on the same day, sometimes on small panels we can carry around in our pockets, marks us as a blessed generation, the very first in the history of civilization. The World of Sport is indulged and we with it.

    And…

    Messi is 31, Ozzie 20. Even better!

  28. I would shed zero tears if the Rays team decided to go Wrestlemania on the Nationals to conclude the sweep.

    And baseball should hand out zero suspensions for clobbering Nationals players with chairs.

  29. From reading the play-by-play, looks like the Nats had bases loaded with one out in the 9th inning, down 1-0, and weren’t able to score. Not sure why the extracurriculars though.

    Some interesting strategery by TB in the 9th. Started with a lefty pitching (Alvarado), he walks Harper. So Alvarado then goes to play 1B (first baseman to LF, left fielder to RF) while a righty (Roe) comes on to strike out Rendon. Then Alvarado goes back to the mound, original first baseman back to first, original left fielder back to LF, and a new right fielder in the game. Alvarado then gives up singles to the next 2 hitters to load the bases and is pulled for Romo, who finishes the shutout. Whew!

  30. Last series in DC Michael Taylor stole third in the ninth, up 7-0. Romo was talking to him about that after striking him out to end the game with the bases loaded today.

  31. @16 Acuna has not hit AAA pitching at all this year. What are we supposed to glean form that? How can you tell when he’s ready? He’s hit better at the MLB level than AAA.

  32. @Braves
    The #Braves recalled RHP Matt Wisler from Triple-A Gwinnett and optioned RHP Lucas Sims to @GoStripers.

  33. @26 I don’t about the “getting a shot” part but any of Wisler or Fried or Gohara would be better than Sims. I also think Evan Phillips might be better but hasn’t had a shot. You can also reach to AA where there may be some pitchers who deserve a shot. Touki might not object to a callup to relieve.

  34. Within the last year one of my sisters had a recurrence of cancer—very scary, and while I tried outwardly to be reassuring to her, I frankly assumed the worst…. Well now she’s clean, not just “better” or “battling it”, but clean… the technology for fighting it is getting better, Mr. Alderson… take heart, and best wishes to you.

  35. Why is Santana not in game against the RH pitcher Harvey .. Santana swinging hot bat ….?? Snitker is s idiot

  36. I would really be happy with a safety squeeze or something to get a run in from 3B with less than two outs. Is it really that hard to hit a sac fly or a ground ball to the right side?

  37. @52- Hit on the left foot. Stayed in and went first-to-third on a single so I’d imagine he’s ok.

  38. Reds are not gonna give us any easy games. I can’t believe we’re making Harvey look good.

  39. Santana would not have stranded Markakis at 3rd …2 innings ago … why is he not in game .. LH against Harvey

  40. Chip has a bizarre hard-on for Jim Riggleman. (I’m sure it’s because he managed the Cubs 20 years ago.)

  41. What’s the counter-argument on Riggleman? What happened with him and Washington? Can’t remember.

  42. @51, I remember a big article in The Sporting News right after Sutter’s signing that outlined the “cleverness” of the Braves offloading all his salary into the future. Bobby Bonilla wasn’t the first.

    Also: Thanks to you link, I learned about Red Schoendienst. I had no idea he died; I also had no idea he was still alive.

  43. 67 — He wasn’t happy that they hadn’t offered to extend his one year contract, so he told them to kiss his ass and quit midseason.

  44. @51

    Wow. Why has that not been mentioned every time people want to pile on the Mutts?

  45. Flaherty has been a rotting pumpkin since April. And speaking of rotten, nice AB by Ozzie to end it.

  46. @75 I agree that Carle didn’t have much tonight – 4 walks…. sheesh. My guess is that the rest of the bullpen was so worn out that Snitker had decided Carle was “it” for better or worse. Carle TOFT tonight.

    This is definitely just one of those games. We came close but never could get over the top and didn’t have the depth to gut it out.

    With recent injuries to Folty, Soroka, Teheran, now Sanchez, and the overuse of the bullpen, the whole pitching staff seems kinda shaky right now. Need some sort of reinforcements.

  47. @79 absolutely…not sure why we continue to hold on to Moylan when we could have dfa’d him and kept Phillips up. He most likely would have been a more effective fresh arm

  48. The Braves are 0-1 at SunTrust Park on days when someone finds a body in a freezer there. That curse never fails.

  49. @80 right and who would have claimed Moylan anyway? He’d likely end up at Gwinnett waiting to be called up again.

  50. This Braves team is a team of density. Lose to the Reds, and the Phillies and Nats lose as well.

  51. The Braves are 0-1 at SunTrust Park on days when someone finds a body in a freezer there. That curse never fails.

    IIRC we also lost when that fan fell to his death during the game in 2015.

    Coincidence? Or another ominous data point in the Grand Coppy-McGuirk-Malone-Schuerholz-Schuerholz Jr.-Wren-Wren Jr.-Kolb-Wickman conspiracy?

  52. @75 those guys aren’t pumpkins, they just aren’t any good but like any baseball player good enough to get to at least AAA, they’re capable enough to show enough flashes to convince someone that they are.

  53. Wes Parsons called up. No word on the corresponding move yet. Someone will have to be moved off the 40 man.

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