We were Judged and found wanting….

At this point in 1966, the Braves lineup had settled into what I still remember 52 years later: Alou played 1st and led off, followed by Mack Jones in Center, Aaron in right, Carty in left, Torre catching, Mathews at 3rd, Woody Woodward at 2nd and Denis Menke at short. The 85th game broke a 5 game winning streak as Chi Chi Olivo gave up a late run to lose to Don Drysdale and the Dodgers 3-2 before under 25,000 at Dodger Stadium. (Dodger Stadium and Wrigley are the only NL parks from 1966 still hosting baseball.) The Braves in 1996 were at this point still roughly reversed from this year’s team at 39-46.

But come on! It’s the 4th of July. Where were you on July 4th-5th 1985? https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ATL/ATL198507040.shtml
I’m not going to recap that game. If you’re too young, ask somebody who wasn’t. I was living in a terrible apartment in New Rochelle, NY and had gone out to dinner, fireworks and then hit bars with a bunch of friends in tony New Canaan, CT and arrived home only to find the game still in the 4th inning. Just go look at the box score linked above. Let Yankee fans have the 4th of July Dave Righetti no-hitter from two years earlier. Let Mets fans (if there are any) savor the win. I just feel lucky to have watched it. RIP, Rick Camp.

I note in the comments from yesterday that even our esteemed editor has begun to be annoyed by Chip. I will focus on two locutions that, were they to be excised from Mr. Caray’s Storehouse of Vocal Tics, would make me indifferent to treating every 300 foot flyball as a potential homer and every bunt as a masterstroke of strategery.

1) “Right people (or man) at the right time.” This is idiotic for several reasons: (a) is there ever a time when you don’t want to score runs? So what, exactly, is the “wrong time?” (b) In a lineup which has produced runs all over it, who exactly are the “wrong people?” (c) Even if there are “wrong people” why would you acknowledge it?

2) “Let’s see if…” This is my single bête noire of the entire Caray corpus. What bothers me the most about it is that it doesn’t seem to bother anybody else. So let me try to explain for the umpteenth time what I hate about it. First, it is completely unnecessary. We’re already watching the game. We will see what happens whether you speculate about what we’re about to see or not. Second, nine times out of ten, it is Chip speculating that a Braves hitter will hit a home run or an opposing hitter will hit into a double play. This is not useful speculation. It’s just annoying. And for a guy who bemoans a game which focuses on homers and strikeouts, it’s hypocritical.

CC Sabathia’s attempt to replicate Righetti in 1983 faltered on the first batter. The Braves loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the first, but one of the oldest pitchers in baseball then struck out one of the the youngest batters to end the threat.

After three quick strikeouts in the first, Julio Teheran gave up a run on a well-placed double by Gregorius and a sharp single from Bird. But in the third a three-run blast by Stanton made it 4-0 and a two-out Higashioka homer the next inning brought it to 5-0.

The comeback started in the fifth. Santana, subbing for a Sabathia-plunked Freeman (doesn’t look too serious), drove in Inciarte with a groundout. A Camargo solo homer continued the run creep. But two on with nobody out led to nothing in the 7th. With all due regard to Frenchy, what really kills rallies are outs. Gohara came back from Gwinnett and pitched well, seeming to recover his velocity and giving up only a short-porch popup to Judge which still counts for a run. Vizzy came back as well, and looked a little rusty, but not bad.

Well, we don’t yet have a team ready to beat the Yankees in Yankee Stadium.  That’s not so bad, because nobody else does either.  Happy 4th, everybody.

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.

120 thoughts on “We were Judged and found wanting….”

  1. I have always hated the Yankees, but with their home field advantage of a little league depth right field, it’s unbearable. Unfortunately they have a good team, but setting a team home run record playing half their games in that ballpark is a joke.

  2. The RF power alley at New Yankee Stadium is 385 ft. That was the same as Turner Fields power alley in right. In SunTrust, that same alley is 10 foot shorter, a cool 375 ft.

    The RF line at NYS is 314 feet. At Turner it was 335. At Suntrust it is 325.

    Flies pulled down the line are easier homers at NYS, but the actual gaps and RF in general (due to the less acute angle outto the gap) are more difficult than SunTrust.

  3. What about the 16 foot wall at STP?

    Loved that 10 pitch first inning with 3 K’s and a straight follow through towards the plate. He will tell himself that’s my future and if i did it there…..

    For all the righteous anger with the short porch i still loved watching the series. They are a special team by any standard and we gave them a run for all their money.

    Good news.
    Julio. Ender looked like his old self at the plate for all his at bats today. Gohara very promising, considering. Dansby, as per Rob, excellent in defense. Unlike his hitting it does not seem to fluctuate. Freddie’s right arm, minor apparently. Love Didi G, ironic he should have emerged from Curacao with the rest of the gang.. Ronald A had four really bad at bats today, he was taken advantage of big time when it really mattered. Hopefully he will be sat down and have to look at all of them and listen to his elders. Cheap lesson.

    Wouldn’t we all love to go back there, older, wiser, shored up roster and blow them away in another WS. Next year?

  4. The losers salute you on your Independence Day.

    Some talk of Alexander
    and some of Hercules
    Of Hector and Lysander
    and such great men as these.
    But of all the world’s great heroes
    there’s none that compare
    with a tra la de dah and a tra la de dah
    to the Br**ish Grenadiers.

    Two Postscripts.

    Alexander is of course C J Alexander. Keep an eye.
    As previously stated here, had we won this war i have little doubt i would now be in my twentieth year of Managing the Braves and yet to make a wrong call.

  5. Phils are about to beat the Orioles again. When the Braves fall behind them for first place in the very near future, it’s not going to be these losses to a superb Yankees team that haunt us, but the inexplicable losses to a very bad Baltimore squad.

  6. Too bad we had odd Julio today. He has allowed 0 runs on start 14, 7 runs during start 15, 0 runs on start 16, and 5 runs during start 17. Looking forward to even Julio in 5 days.

  7. I just read a serious comment on TC where someone suggested sending Freddie to Gwinnett. Another commenter said we should “upgrade” at first base next year.

    I’m glad we don’t have anyone that dumb commenting here frequently.

  8. @8 Freddie’s average was .277 in June and it’s just .133 in July! Put him on the next train out of town!

  9. Speaking of TC, I don’t usually read the comments over there, but I was reading the article about Touki being called up to AAA (he’s made great strides this year, by the way). Commenters over there noted that both Pache and Encarnacion were pulled from their respective games yesterday. Several immediately assumed that they are being traded for Machado—and they started arguing the merits of the deal.
    That’s the kind of speculation that I’m usually scornful of, but I will confess that I immediately started scouring the net to see what the current rumors are.

  10. To be clear, I offer the story @10 as a confession of my own intellectual and moral weakness. I appreciate the fact that BJ is generally free of speculation and rosterbating

  11. Generally.

    DOB and Peanut said that Pache and Encarnacion both simultaneously were pulled due to injury. Though obviously not impossible, I had wondered if negotiations could reach a certain level of seriousness but not agreement that the players involved would be removed from minor league games since they don’t matter anyway.

  12. Stewart remains unsigned. The deadline is Friday at 5PM. He is the only top-15 pick that is unsigned. Their 1st, 14th, and 34th round picks remain the ones believed to be signable but have not so far. If they can go ahead and sign Stewart, and then grab their 14th and 34th (Vodnik and Hess), I think they’ll be pretty happy about their draft.

  13. MLB Network, MLB Network Radio, MLB.com, ESPN, The Athletic, you name it seem to be beside themselves that July — THE HOT STOVE MONTH — is fairly slow and the previous offseason making FUEGO TRADE RUMORS hard to predict. I have yet to read a trade rumor involving us that seems to be remotely plausible.

    And since AA made a couple big trades in 2015, they just can’t help but include AA as THE GM who will pull off the headline-grabbing, time-filling, TRADE OF THE YEAR at the deadline. Could he? Sure. But does his trading at the 2015 deadline two organizations ago mean he’ll do the same right now? Hardly, so shut up about it Casey Stearn or whatever your name is.

  14. I wish I had the time to do a complete history of “X commenter campaigns for Y fringey journeyman to be replaced by Z fringey minor leaguer.”

    Right now, X = Roger, Y = Danny Santana, and Z = Michael “Judge” Reed (lol, Sam).

    I’d love to know the commenter win-loss record, so to speak, or how many times player Z got a fawning write-up or even an interview (dare I suggest the two are related) on a prospect-centric blog. Of course, every so often, player Z = Charles Thomas, and the Braves have a magical season. Therein lies the appeal.

  15. Worth mentioning that Touki has been promoted to AAA. Touki, Allard, Gohara (even though he’s reading the Gwinnett Shuttle right now), Parsons, Wisler, and Sims all looking to man a rotation spot in AAA. So how about we, ya know, trade Wisler or Sims or Parsons for a reliever, eh?

  16. Of course, every so often, player Z = Charles Thomas, and the Braves have a magical season. Therein lies the appeal.

    That’s kind of the point. Santana had a really strong June at AAA, so the Braves were obviously compelled to see if that translated, but I think you’d rather take your chances with Reed instead of pretty much knowing what you got with Santana. With that said, Santana becoming Chuckles Thomas was probably an equal bet anyway.

  17. The point with Santana, as Rob says, is you know what you’ve got. Since 2015, Santana has had 729 ML PAs and slashed .218/.241/.318 with average baserunning and well below average fielding.

    Reed is, by all accounts, an above average base runner and fielder and is slashing .337/.464/.535 between AA and AAA and has 30 ML PAs. It’s worth seeing what you have.

  18. The day we made the Kemp deal, to some extent, 2018 was punted. So if it’s Reed over Santana, Fried over McCarthy, whomever over Anibal, Camargo over a rental, Phillips over Moylan, then I hope we continue to make the long-term decisions balancing the desire to keep this good thing going. As an example, instead of trading Allard/Gohara/Touki+++ at the deadline for even a proven guy like deGrom, I’d really rather just give that pitcher 8 starts at the big league level in August and September and then re-evaluate at the deadline.

    Did not watch the game, but DOB said that it seemed Gohara looked more like 2017 Gohara vs. early season 2018 Gohara, and aside from the cheap HR to Judge, the statline showed. Things will undoubtedly get very interesting in AAA and the big league club for the remainder of the year.

  19. @20 – Inciarte was 5 for 13 with a homerun, 2 rbis, 2 walks, and 2 stolen bases against the Yankees. He’s hitting. 273 with a .732 ops in his last 15 games. I don’t see him as one of our worst hitters right now. Our problem against the Yankees was that we got beat by a better team, especially when they’re at home.

  20. @22 Just more of the same: Big company sucking money out of the Braves, but we can’t expect them to give anything back ever.

    That’s what lamenting the Kemp deal is really all about. Money goes out of the Braves and into Liberty and never the other way around.

  21. You can make a pretty strong case for Camargo batting leadoff. With his. 296 obp, Danby is clearly our worst starter at this point.

  22. Hey, is it time to whinge and moan about Liberty and ownership again? My internal clock is off a bit with the holiday in the middle of the week. I thought we did that on Saturdays.

  23. The day we made the Kemp deal more or less everyone applauded it. It was a great move to clear salary for 2019, the year everyone expected the pieces to really start coming together.

    Half a season of young players melding and performing ahead of expectations and now it’s to the Retroactively Pissed About It Mobile, Robin!

  24. Ender’s got a 1.3 WAR in half a year in his worst year to date. He may not belong in the leadoff spot, but he belongs in the lineup.

  25. @30 You’re just trolling Chief for one of his “defense doesn’t matter” rants, aren’t you?

  26. @28 Just getting it started early since a Wednesday holiday inevitably means Thursday and Friday are gonna be really unproductive days at the office.

  27. Would you pull the trigger on the following trade:

    ATL Gets: Machado, Brad Batch and Paul Fry

    BAL Gets: Swanson, Ian Anderson, Dustin Peterson and Kyle Muller

  28. Yeah. You don’t get Machado for Dansbo, some lottery ticket arms, and Dustin Peterson

  29. Manny Machado is 25, plays 3B exquisitely and can at least pass as a ML shortstop, and is hitting 308/377/560 this year. (OPS 937, OPS+ 158)

    For comparison, Freddie Freeman is 28, plays 1B exquisitely and can at least pass as an ML 3B, and is hitting 308/399/530 (929, 153) this year.

    So, as a point of intellectual honesty and realism, any Braves fan who is putting together a “trade package” for Machado should begin their exercise by asking themselves: what would I demand for Freddie if he were on the last year of his contract, three years younger, but played a more valuable defensive position?

  30. Sam is mistaking my “it is what it is” statements about the effect of the Kemp trade for 2018 as a complaint, which it is not. But at the end of the day, the Braves have a finite payroll, just like every single team in baseball, including the big markets. And they allocated a really high percentage of their payroll to push 2019 dollars into 2018, and that’s fine. But it does heavily limit their ability to have the team they need in 2018.

    Sam likes strawmen arguments as much as anyone.

  31. The Morosi article says the Braves wouldn’t want to move Anderson or Max Fried for Machado _because they view the bullpen as a greater need._

  32. And no, I am reading Rob’s “it is what it is” comments as just that. But he’s making those because other people are complaining that the Braves aren’t breaking the banks – both prospects bank and money bank – at the trade deadline (yet.)

  33. If they don’t *go for it* this season when its on a platter for them, they don’t deserve to win in the ‘future’.

    Good organizations do this. We BETTER add pieces. If they stand pat, hell will hath no fury…

  34. I’m the one angsting over Liberty Media using the Kemp trade as the reason why we can’t have any financial flexibility this year.

    Has any team ever gambled some of its future budget on the chance to strike gold within its market with a big playoff bid? If the Braves make it to the world series, shouldn’t we expect to see a huge bump in the team budget as a result of all that hype?

  35. Obviously they’re not going to stand pat. But if they don’t deal 2+ blue chip prospects for 2 1/2 months of Manny Machado, then that doesn’t tell me nearly as much as some of you think it does.

  36. I don’t think anyone, Rob, has claimed that not dealing for Machado would be telling of anything. What’d be telling is watching our rivals acquire talent at the deadline for less than we thought it would cost because the team wouldn’t afford a few million dollars.

  37. I’m sure everyone predicted that the best player we got in the Kemp trade would be Charlie Culberson.

  38. @51

    I don’t think anyone, Rob, has claimed that not dealing for Machado would be telling of anything.

    @48

    If they don’t *go for it* this season when its on a platter for them, they don’t deserve to win in the ‘future’.

    Good organizations do this. We BETTER add pieces. If they stand pat, hell will hath no fury…

    I would like to hear from Chief as to what he means by “going for it” to see if these two ideas are connected. Define “pieces”. Define “go for it”.

  39. It would be interesting to see a map of how the “trade the farm for this year, now!” to “hold the prospects and compete year over year!” contingents by age.

  40. We know we’re in contention this year. We don’t know what’s going to happen in future years. It’s not overly smart to just punt on a year that is going well. In fact, if I have to take a year off the back end of our competition window to improve this year’s team, I’m doing it in a heartbeat. But yes, let’s continue acting like people who are interested in the team winning this year are being stupid, or like it’s not irritating that ownership likely won’t give the GM a little extra money to do it. We should all be perfectly willing to watch this year trickle down the drain, if that’s what’s going to happen (not saying it is), because next year is more important anyway or something.

  41. I would include Anderson in a package for Machado.

    I would not include Anderson in a package for a relief pitcher.

    I personally find the complaints about budgets and ownership pointless and annoying, in much the same way it annoyed me when an old college buddy moved back to Atlanta after years in the PacNW and immediately started complaining about the heat. This is the climate you’ve chosen to live in.

  42. @54, Point well taken.

    @55, Nick is right, but like Rob, I doubt we will stand pat. I’m fully expecting we’ll get what we say we’re shopping for, better and controllable relievers. That’ll probably cost a lot in prospects as it is. If we do stand pat, cosign with Chief @48.

    I also don’t like this talk of being worse than the Yankees. Screw that. We can take anyone in a short series.

  43. Note that Morosi’s piece says the Braves won’t trade Anderson *and* (not *or*) Fried for Machado, which makes sense.

  44. I missed that he said “and”. Good catch, and thanks.

    Fried could be on the brink of being a 3rd starter+ under team control for 6 years. That’s hard to part with. Anderson, on the other hand, has the right mix of a high ceiling and lack of results that could make him a good trade piece for both teams. I’m sure it’d be an easy sell to Orioles fans that they traded an impending FA for the 3rd pick in the 2016 draft.

  45. I also don’t like this talk of being worse than the Yankees. Screw that. We can take anyone in a short series.

    This is, fundamentally, true. Which is why all of the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the Orioles series is misplaced.

  46. We are objectively worse than the Yankees at this moment. But yeah of course we could still beat them 4 times before they beat us 4 times. It’s baseball.

    The whole point is to win enough to make these coin-flip short series possible. So far so good.

  47. The Braves front office staff has their work cut out for them to get draft picks signed tomorrow. Hope they get it done.

  48. I mean, if you threw Newcomb, Folty, and Teheran against Severino, Tanaka, and either Sabathia or Gray, that would be a good match-up. But in a short series, they have Robertson, Betances, Green, and Chapman, and we don’t have that. Not even close. They also have 5 hitters with at least 15 HRs, the first time in the history of the Yankee franchise that they’ve had that at this point of the season. Their only weakness is their lack of starting pitching, and their hitting more than overcome that in our series in which we threw our #1 and #3 starters. And our one win? Anibal Sanchez threw, so good luck repeating that, and they would have won if not for a ground rule double that kept the winning run on third.

    They’re better than us, which is totally fine since the aggregate projections had us winning about 42 games this year.

    In the most likely hypothetical playoff series — the NLDS — we may very well see Milwaukee, so this upcoming series is probably a better benchmark of where we stack up with a playoff team more on our level. Then we’ll see the Diamondbacks, another possible NLDS opponent next week. Then the Nationals the week after that, a potential NLCS opponent, then the Dodgers, another potential DS and CS opponent. So… we’ll get our fill.

  49. @16 For the reasons others posted, I’m still for the Reed vs Santana exchange. There’s a real chance it would upgrade the bottom. But, of course, Reed was felled by a HBP now, too, and those are things unrelated to performance that you can’t predict. I liked the OFR piece on obtaining deGrom. I do think it’s worth a big prospect give to get him. I am against any Machado deal. I would prefer not to give any big prospects for controllable relievers. Relievers, even good ones, are too plentiful not to be able restock each year or develop,

  50. I really don’t understand what the Orioles are doing with Machado. They would have been so much better off trading him at the deadline last season.

    Is it permitted to negotiate with a player for an extension prior to trade?

  51. Given Ender’s age and (as far as we know) health, it would be reasonable to expect him to end the season around his previous seasons levels. IF that happens, he’s probably not in a bad spot in the lineup.

    It would be good if he would get to work on that, for sure.

  52. @68, I’m really asking is there a rule against it? Can you in theory negotiate with the player before a trade is made final?

  53. The player/rep and the owning club may agree to a negotiation window. Prior to a deal being finalized. Otherwise it’s tampering.

  54. Fried isn’t fooling anyone. This is on the verge of being the third poor start in a row by our starters.

  55. Now he walks the pitcher and drops the ball tagging the runner trying to score on a wild pitch. Yuck.

  56. Go get him. Head is not in the game. Terrible pitch selection and he just looks lost to me tonight

  57. Our long relievers are gassed because they pitched when Newcomb and Teheran got shelled. Jackson pitched 3 innings Tuesday and Gohara pitched 2 innings yesterday. Fried will have to take one for the team.

  58. They were down 9-0. This is 10 runs unanswered. This could be their comeback win that starts the winning streak a la the Oakland A’s.

  59. Apparently the FSN camera guys didn’t have a good replay to show us and just are going to stare at the umpires while they wait. Swell job.

  60. Put another way, the $6.5M is pitching like a $6.5M bullpen. Put another way, 32% of the roster is making 5% of the payroll. What can go wrong?

  61. Bruce Zimmerman has literally come out of nowhere. His second AA start: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 0 HR.

  62. Chief here to tell us all that he told us so again. Really helpful. Evil genius 9th in the fantasy league.

    I know because I’m 10th. With that said, I don’t profess to have all the answers.

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