Reds 6, Braves 5, Soroka Sorely Sore

I’ve tried in these recaps to exactly parallel the 1966 season, but I have to make a small exception here.

The 2018 Braves are two games short of halfway, but at the halfway point in 1966, the 81st game on July 3, a remarkable game came to pass. The Braves beat the Giants in Candlestick 17-3. It should be noted (to comment on the current season) that that was the 36-45 Braves beating the 49-30 Giants by 14 runs: a sunny record doesn’t make every game against second division teams sunny.

The remarkable thing in this game, as most of you know, is that starting pitcher Tony Cloninger hit two grand slams in the game and had another run-scoring single for 9 RBI. In the history of baseball, only thirteen people have hit two grand slams in a game, and Tony Cloninger is the only pitcher to do it. 9 RBIs in a game is still the pitcher’s record. Combined with the two homer game against the Mets I told you about two weeks ago, Cloninger became one of three pitchers to have two two-homer games in a season. The other two were Don Newcombe (1955) and Rick Wise (1971). Bumgarner will probably be the fourth, but not yet.

Lost in the buzz over Tony C was Hank Aaron’s league-leading 25th homer along with homers from Rico Carty and Joe Torre. Many people claim to have watched this game on television, but it wasn’t televised.

On to today’s game. First, in outside news Soroka got all but shutdown for the season with placement on the 60 day DL. The word is that there’s no structural damage, just slow healing, but this is what you obviously have to do with a 20 year old. My only comment as a 62 year old is that if Soroka’s slow healing now, just wait a few decades.

The Braves sent No-Terminal-E Newcomb to the mound. He started off promisingly by getting Joey Votto ejected in the first, but unfortunately the Reds weren’t out of players yet and he failed to irritate any more into ejection, and gave up two runs early on.

The Braves were quiet until the 4th when a 4 run outburst put them in the lead: Suzu (and his petals) drove in Freeman, Folk Hero Culberson knocked in Markakis, Camargo knocked in Suzu (who had a fabulous slide), and Swanson singled in Culberson.

The clubs traded runs in the 5th, but then came the fateful 7th. The Braves have had two Aarons at the same time, one much better than the other. The Braves have had two Niekros at the same time, one much better than the other. The Braves had two Jones’ at the same time, and they were both really good, but one is in HOF and the other doesn’t look like he’ll make it. Right now the Braves have two Freemans, one of them much better then the other one. The other one pitched badly in the 7th and gave up three runs (two Grybo’d by Winkler, but it surely wouldn’t have been any different if Sam had stayed in) and that was the difference.

Another loss. I apologize, but I’ve lent some of my mojo to cliff, who needed it badly.  I’ll take it back when the bulge recedes.

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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.

48 thoughts on “Reds 6, Braves 5, Soroka Sorely Sore”

  1. “My only comment as a 62 year old is that if Soroka’s slow healing now, just wait a few decades.”

    Great line

  2. Parsons has been optioned.

    They did it in LA, and Gwinnett is down the street, so it makes total sense. But man, what a weird deal. But good for guys like Peterson, Phillips, and Parsons who are now on the 40-man, getting MLB insurance for life, making some serious coin compared to minor league ball, and they don’t even get used. I bet they’re not bent out of shape at all.

  3. I wonder how much longer the bad Freeman will be a Brave. His decent numbers last year appeared to be an outlier and that definitely seems to be the case given this year. Moylan has at least had a few games where he looked really good. I can’t even say that about Sam.

  4. Reading the comments on all of the beat writers’ timelines on Twitter is comical. You’d think the team had completely collapsed and been eliminated from playoff contention, 2011 style. Complete meltdown by these morons. DOOOOOMMMMED

  5. I would still replace nearly half this roster. But we’re in first place, so bitching about it seems pretty weak. So I won’t. Deep breaths.

  6. Inciarte left the game because of a tweak in his oblique, per Snitker. Apparently it was mostly precautionary.

  7. “And when it’s time for leaving Mozambique
    To say goodbye to sand and sea
    You turn around to take a final peek
    And you see why it’s so unique to be
    Among the lovely people living free
    Upon the beach of sunny Mozambique”

  8. @8

    Rusty…unclear if this was Kipling or you. Please advise.

    ‘We travel not for trafficking alone;
    By hotter winds our fiery hearts are fanned:
    For lust of knowing what should not be known
    We take the Golden Road to Samarkand.’

    Sadly, this was not me. James Elroy Flecker.

  9. ‘On the road to Mandalay
    where the flying fishes play
    and the moon comes up like Thunder
    from China ‘cross the Bay.

    Take me back to Mandalay…etc’ Kipling

  10. Sixty Days
    you can look at it in a number of ways
    rehab and rest
    but at just the time we need our very best

  11. ‘There’s a four-pronged buck a-swinging in the shadow of my cabin,
    And it roamed the velvet valley till to-day;
    But I tracked it by the river, and I trailed it in the cover,
    And I killed it on the mountain miles away.
    Now I’ve had my lazy supper, and the level sun is gleaming
    On the water where the silver salmon play;
    And I light my little corn-cob, and I linger, softly dreaming,
    In the twilight, of a land that’s far away.’

    Robert Service. Rhyme of the Remittance Man.

  12. Howd’ya like the poetry mix guys? Good for the first half of the morning on an off day after a silly lost series. Rusty S set the pace.

    Over to the analysts.

  13. That’s a lot of poetry.

    This is your reminder that the Atlanta Braves baseball club is nearing the end of June and find themselves in first place in the National League East, and Ronald Acuna returns tomorrow.

    DOB speculates Parsons was optioned to make room for Acuna. So that implies that we would have a 7-man pen, and both Danny Santana and Peter Bourjos would be on the roster, which is completely unnecessary. But with all of the game-playing with the 25-man roster, by optioning Parsons, they can’t re-call Wisler, Phillips, Parsons, or Sims. So there’s literally no one to call up unless they DL someone.

  14. When do we think we’ll make our first deadline trade? I believe I’m seeing the local beat writers suggesting sooner rather than later, which to me is a sign of something in the works.

  15. Jim Bowden, who you inexplicably have to pay The Athletic to read, has this trade proposal:

    4. Atlanta Braves trade Touki Toussaint, Cristian Pache, Bryse Wilson and a player to be named later to the Texas Rangers for Cole Hamels and Keone Kela

    WHAT??? I highly doubt that is the trade market that will develop if the Herrera deal and last offseason’s FA market is any indication, but if it is, then I’d rather just win 87 games this year and not make a trade unless it’s with our high minors filler guys to get middle relievers or a bench player.

  16. That would be a questionable deal for Hamels circa 2008.

    Freddie and the bullpen get a needed day off today!

  17. It took me a while to realize that Jim Bowden was the same voice on MLB Network Radio, face on ESPN Baseball Tonight, and writer on The Athletic. But I’ve determined he’s the most useless “baseball guy” on those forums. And while Brad Lidge is giving him a run for his money on he radio side, no one else is even remotely close. I know it’s hard to provide as much good analytics and commentary as he has to being on all of those forums, but he either needs to get better, pick a lane, or give up on this whole baseball thing.

  18. @8 – It’s Bob Dylan. I used quotations, but it’s probably obscure enough I should have attributed it as well.

    Kipling, Dylan, Rusty S., it all starts to run together, really.

  19. The free agent market showed that aging veterans have decreased in value significantly from previous years. And the reason that is is because of the attractiveness of younger players, the arb process, and years of control. I just can’t see a scenario where we see a complete reversal of that, and teams start shipping off prospects to get a guy for a half-season so you can turn around and have to sign a guy like him on the FA market because you just shipped off your prospects. Just can’t see that happening.

    And if that isn’t the market, and it’s one where you ship Pache, Touki, and Wilson for Hamels and Kela, then I hope the team abstains from that market.

  20. That proposed trade is a fantasy from someone who obviously doesn’t like the Braves. Must have taken one too many beatings from us in the ’90s.

  21. @21–Rusty, I got it and very much appreciated. Of the two poets under discussion, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature? But keep up the great recaps, Rusty, you may be in the running yourself.

  22. Acuna activated. Wisler recalled. Parsons officially optioned. McCarthy DL’ed. 5-man bench and 7-man pen.

  23. @26, Geez, I won’t be surprised if MLB does something to curb these phantom DL shenanigans.

  24. I wouldn’t be surprised if none of Touki, Pache, or Wilson are anything more than suspects, but I still wouldn’t trade them for a 34 year old Cole Hamels. I will admit, I DID think he was 37 or 38.

    The 10 day DL and this constant shuttling of players down the road, I would be willing to bet is something that A. the league, and B. the MLBPA take a look at soon as its gotten ridiculous.

  25. And… are we the only team treating these AAA guys like this? Good LUCK signing ANY miLB FAs if this IS the case as these guys assuredly talk to one another…

  26. I’m not sure if the Braves are being more cautious than in previous years, playing roster shenanigans, or if their conditioning program is lacking. My guess is that it’s a little of all 3.

  27. I don’t think we’re the only team treating AAA guys like this. The Nats have a minor league affiliate pretty close by, too. (Update: their Potomac affiliate is High-A, so it’s not exactly the same, but still, other teams have minor league affiliates that aren’t too far away.)

    There is not a single minor league free agent who would not sign up in a heartbeat for a shuttle to make major league scale for a day.

  28. Yeah, that last point is the kicker. Your choice is to be shuttled back and forth or to be left in the minors always. LOL @ the idea of complaining about the shuttling.

  29. Bowman says Fried is likely to get the start Saturday. Either Bourjos or Santana will get the axe. (Most likely Bourjos because Santana has infield experience.)

  30. A day or two of a major league minimum salary is how much? 15-20K? Not to mention any benefits to come with it such as insurance. Some people make that salary in a whole year in the real world.

    Those guys only made like 2k a month in AAA, so it’s a big raise for them. Wes Parsons gets to stay on the 40 man roster so he makes more than that.

  31. Adding to that…if some organizational filler guy plays in Triple A the whole season, making 2k a month, that’s a salary of 12k for the year. He has to get a 2nd job in the offseason.

    The lower you go in the minor leagues, the less they make. Only the guys who get big signing bonuses have any money.

  32. If true, this sums it up well:

    Matt Chrietzberg
    @BravesMattC
    “Due to being placed on the 40-man roster and for his one day on the active roster, Parsons was paid $3,364.20, now makes a prorated portion of an $88,000 salary this season and has medical insurance for life. Not bad work if you can get it.”

    So for the work of putting on a different uniform and taking a car ride, Parsons gets that. And yes, Chief, he will talk to his buds. He’ll tell them that the Braves didn’t even throw him, he made $3,364, got medical insurance for life, and he got a little taste of the big league life, even if just for a moment. Guys that got a $10K signing bonus when they were drafted in the 10th round 5 years ago and have been making $15K a year for those 5 years will look at him like he was one of the prisoners selected to tar the roof and got free beer in Shawshank Redemption.

    It means literally nothing for the Braves to stick Parsons on the roster for a day, but it probably means a lot to Parsons and the other guys at AAA dreaming of a call-up.

  33. The Braves’ use of the 25-man roster is indicative of the quality at the bottom of said roster. It’s a nice strategy when you don’t really have a solid 25th man, but as soon as you do these one-day field trips from the minors will stop.

  34. @32

    I totally agree. It’s not like they have to get a new apartment or anything. They are just going across town.

    I am sure Wisler, Simms, Fried and so on were told this was going to happen.

    The alternative is to just stay over at CoolRay and hang out.

  35. Wait a minute, we’re still talking about a team that is currently giving prime playing time to Danny Freaking Santana. I thought we were all dreading this during Spring Training. If this team cannot come up with someone better than Santana and Bourjos at the bottom of the roster then it’s still not a serious playoff team. Someone tell me again why I’d rather not have either of the Adams’ on the roster (Lane or Matt)? Or Hanley Ramirez? Santana was batting second last game – that’s where you put your best hitter. We played like last year – all singles; no EBHs. I thought that giving Santana significant playing time was like giving up on the season.

  36. It’s not worth getting upset about Santana, who isn’t going to play much now that Acuña is back. The last guy on everyone’s bench is bad. Otherwise they wouldn’t be the last guy off the bench.

  37. Rumor is that Acuña will be batting 6th when he comes back. Inciarte and Albies will stay 1 and 2.

    CF Inciarte
    2b Albies
    1b Freeman
    RF Markakis
    C Flozuki
    LF Acuña
    3b Camargo
    SS Swanson

  38. Smoltz shot a 15 over today in the US Senior Open. Apparently, one Hall of Fame is all he’s getting.

  39. @40 I think we have more flotsam and jetsam than that on the bench; Santana is just the high profile example. Eric Cole has a good article at TC on the roster problem and talking about the fact that keeping the bench guys we do (and at AAA) keeps us from developing anything better – the talent doesn’t percolate up. Couldn’t we get as much from Michael Reed as Santana or Bourjos, even if Reed is not good? Or Dustin? Or Tyler Marlette? HanRam is just hanging in the wind.

    The pitching is so thin right now with all the injuries, maybe Allard or Parsons or Phillips or Touki might really help. Some guys lower down in the org might get some promotions.

    It’s so frustrating watching them roll out the same bums day after day when there could be some better potential already in the org.

  40. Lane Adams is a head-scratcher, but he didn’t get a major league deal elsewhere, so that says something.

    We chose not to afford Matt Adams.

    With the versatility, though, of Culberson, Camargo, Flaherty, and Acuna, you have all positions covered, so I’m not sure why we can’t have a masher in this last spot being discussed, which makes the “last man on the roster” quite important. Instead of Flaherty or Culberson being the first bat off the bench, someone not Santana who can actually hit, that spot has the biggest room for improvement because of the change in usage.

  41. Normally I’d say the quality of the bench isn’t *that* important, but when your relievers are pitching 4 or 5 innings every night then you are going to burn through a lot of pinch hitters. Would like to see at least one of those options be an Eric Hinske type of hitter.

  42. @45–yep, the correct answer is both. Kipling was the youngest recipient, Dylan perhaps the most controversial.

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