Braves and Blue Jays Working 9 to 5.

1966, Game 91. The Braves are 43-47 going in (and closing in on the first managerial change of my baseball life) and beat the Reds on a sunny Sunday, 9-6, before 36,522 boiled-peanut-eating fans. (Having never been to STP, and having attended only one game at Turner Field, are there still guys in the parking lots selling boiled peanuts? My cognizance of corporate control says no, but I’d be really ecstatic to be wrong.)

This game had Denny Lemaster pitch a complete game giving up 6 runs. The last time this happened was 8 years ago when Cliff Lee lost 6-1. The last time a pitcher had a complete game, gave up 6 or more runs and won the game was in 2000 when Pete Harnisch beat the Braves. You have to be a pretty good pitcher to be on this list, since you’re generally not going to be left in the game unless you’re a pretty good pitcher. (Of course no one will probably ever be on this list again.) The list of pitchers achieving this feat since 1966 include Nolan Ryan, Steve Carlton, Fergie Jenkins, Phil Niekro, Juan Marichal, Don Drysdale and Bob Gibson. The complete list is at https://www.baseball-reference.com/tiny/mv25e if you’re interested.

This is my introduction to saying that, despite the love showed Tony Cloninger in 1966, Denny Lemaster was my favorite. (The fact that his 1966 ERA+ was a league-average 99 affects this assessment not a whit.) His greatest game is still a few weeks away, but I wanted to show him some love here. (Denny is still with us at 79. Huzzah!) True, Pete Rose was a triple short of the cycle in this game and Denny gave up 3 homers but the Braves’ 5 runs in the second kept him in the game, and a 2-run Hank Aaron homer in the 7th (his 27th, all you Yankees) allowed Lemaster to hang around even though he gave up runs in the 8th and 9th. The win boosted Lemaster to 8-5. One walk to 10 strikeouts. In a grim prediction of the future of baseball, the Reds used 6 pitchers in this game.

Speaking of big second inning outbursts, consider the Braves this evening: a 6 spot in the second. The heros – pretty much everyone (except Acuña who batted twice and made two outs, though he doubled later) not excluding the Blue Jays’ defense that botched a Folty sacrifice in lotsa ways to get the scoring started.

Top commentator moment: Joe Simpson saying “He’s got that corner marketed.” That’s Oklahoman for cornering a market. Verbs, nouns, subjects, predicates, all interchangeable among friends, right?

In the bottom of the 6th Albies broke a pretty long homerless streak both for himself and for the Braves. At this point I’m flipping between the Braves and the Phillies. Ignoring the $7.4 million he’s being paid this year to pitch, it must really suck to be Jacob deGrom. The Mets didn’t get a runner to second base until the 8th. Toronto scored a run while I was watching the other game… apparently Smoak smoked one. I flip back and we have the crisis – bases loaded in the top of the 7th, and a grand slam from Devon Travis and we now see the difference between 1966 and 2018 – Folty is out – where have you gone, Denny Lemaster?

Winkie handled the 8th, and an Albies 2 run dinger provided Reitsma room. And a Nimmo walkoff homer! Let’s go Mets! At this point the rye from the evening Manhattans started kicking in.

Vizzy pitched the ninth: 5-3, Single past Dansby, K, 5-3

Winkie, Vizzy and now I can Nod off. Back in first. G’night all.

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.

34 thoughts on “Braves and Blue Jays Working 9 to 5.”

  1. Great recap.

    As a young guy, I forget that Pete Rose is 77 years old and began his career in 1963. Always surprised to see him show up in something like this from the mid-60’s.

  2. Rob, just watched Chris Cope on Conan from last night. Funny guy! Congratulations – this is huge!

  3. Our muscled hamster must explain
    that he’ll decide what pitch to cane
    the first as much the last
    the time is now well past
    when addled fools their wisdom feign.

  4. Thanks! The aneurysm story was long, but apparently the producers really wanted a solid helping of aneurysm talk. Really happy for him. If a comedy special is the big leagues, is this AA? Really, really happy for him.

  5. The longer there isn’t a corresponding move, the potential there could be… a trade! I know, I know, it seems crazy that we could actually be making a trade to actually improve the major league roster, but it’s possible.

  6. Someone said it the other day, but I understand that there are more teams that could still be adding and that could be less in the coming two weeks, and the Braves might be waiting for the market to fall, but we could easily lose an additional 2-3 games before even the end of this month while we wait for that to happen.

  7. Agreed. I think that’s what I fear about this waiting. It’s clear to me the team needs a boost, but having a losing record in July could be just the sort of evidence for the front office to say “See! It’s good that we waited. This season is no different than last, and it would have been foolish to buy into this season.” which would just make me angry… because this crew is legit, and a really solid move at the deadline doesn’t have to be a rental. Of course, if the market is too expensive, then we should just wait and see.

    I just don’t like feeling that the reason this is so difficult is the result of our finances and less to do with the actual market asking price in talent.

  8. I propose that the ASG break thread be someone digging through the pre-season predictions and seeing how much further ahead this team is than people expected, and then comparing those exceeded expectations with how badly that same commentator is deriding the play of the team that is exceeding his expectations.

  9. Klaw in his chat just now seems to indicate that Stewart’s injury wasn’t that serious.

    Sing 1:08

    Hi Keith, could you shed some light on what happened with Carter Stewart? Did the Braves realize they had an injured pitcher or was it about money? Also, does getting the 9th pick in 2019 provide more of a benefit to the Braves if he was injured? Love your work and thanks.

    Keith Law 1:09

    I won’t. I will say that I think Stewart should head for a junior college and re-enter next year’s draft; he could be a top 5 pick with a similar spring without injury. I think Atlanta is worse off with the 9th pick next year than with the 8th pick this year.

  10. @18, I am not typically enamored with prospects to say the least, but Stewart’s film/video/whatever you call it was some of the best that I’ve ever seen, especially with his breaking pitches. Kid is an absolute stud, plays against GREAT competition, etc.

  11. And as fans of this organization, how are we supposed to feel about passing on him over, presumably, that wrist injury and/or the money commitment for that draft pick?

    I mean, obviously, the money was an issue. It was THE issue. We wouldn’t commit the money because of the wrist injury risk.

    I mean, seriously, how should we feel about this? We failed to sign the first round selection because of finances.

  12. No one on this board has 1/10th of the required information to make a useful judgement about the Carter Stewart thing. He has massive projectable talent. We drafted him. For some reason, the two parties couldn’t agree on a signing figure.

    It is what it is, and unless you’re a member of the Braves scouting and talent acquisition team in Florida, or Carter Stewart’s cool uncle on his mom’s side, that is all we can say.

  13. True, I imagine if Stewart gets drafted highly again next year and makes it to the bigs without injury, we will feel we let one get away. If he has Tommy John within the next couple of years, we will think AA was given good information and move on.

  14. I don’t think anyone can possibly ever know. If he’s a top 5 pick next year, that doesn’t necessarily say the Braves blew it for passing him over as his wrist injury could have rectified itself. If it was subjective from the get-go, a strong JUCO season is ultimately the proof of his health on that day, but doesn’t really say anything about the way things are now.

    Obviously the 9th pick is worse than the 8th pick, but what if they like the pool next year better? I’m told there are more college hitters in next year’s draft.

  15. @15

    That’s actually a good idea, Sam. If I could possibly have a fault, it’s that I value our players too highly, and in an effort to not come off as a caricature of myself, I think I predicted 75 wins from this team. IIRC, most people fell between 75 and 80 wins, so we were all officially low. I regret being so conservative since no player is really doing anything right now — other than Albies — that we didn’t think they were fully capable of, and we have two position players — Ender and Dansby — that are not playing to their potential at all.

    Is anyone interested in doing a post along the lines of Braves Journals’ pre-season expectations and how it’s played out? I’ve got a couple things to post during the off-week, but there are a couple spots open.

  16. I certainly didn’t think Nick Markakis was capable of hitting this well, and said so ad nauseum in April and May.

    But the team has also benefited from a deft touch in jettisoning players at the right time. Ryan Flaherty is a good example. We got everything out of him that we possibly could have, and then we cut bait at the earliest proper opportunity.

    But the biggest differences between the team as it is and the team as I saw it going into the year are Albies, Foltzie, and Newk. Newcomb has come back to earth a bit but he’s still been vastly better than I expected. If he can actually get his K/BB over 2, he could be a star. Foltzie already is one.

  17. Totally forgot about Kakes.

    After 382 career innings, I felt like the Braves’ patience with Folty would eventually be rewarded, so seeing him on pace for a 3.6 fWAR season is not something I think is necessarily a surprise. Fangraphs doesn’t like Newk undoubtedly due to his walks, and he’s only on pace for a 2.5 fWAR season, which is only mildly surprising. I know I figured SOMEONE would hit, someone would improve an incremental amount from last year, and someone would be a disappointment out of Folty, Newk, and Teheran. And since Teheran has 0 fWAR in 18 GS, we know where these guys have ended up.

  18. Wow, by simply being healthy, making 18 starts and being completely replacement level, Teheran is 81st in qualified starters in WAR. Should that surprise me that he’s that high?

  19. I assume lack of corresponding roster move is just a little money-savings thing. With today’s day off, they don’t have to call anyone up and pay them a major-league salary until tomorrow.

  20. Upcoming:

    3 @ D-backs
    All-Star Break
    3 @ Nationals
    2 @ Marlins
    Off-day
    4 vs. Dodgers
    3 vs. Marlins
    4 @ Mets
    Off-Day
    3 @ Nationals

    It really depends on who Washington is to decide if that’s a hard or easy schedule. Diamondbacks and Dodgers are undoubtedly tough, but the Mets and Marlins are very winnable. It’s the Gnats that are the wild card.

  21. Teheran has 0.9 bWAR, and since he usually pitches above his peripherals, I think that is a more accurate representation of what he has been.

  22. bWAR and fWAR are in stark disagreement on Teheran and Anibal with bWAR liking both of them much more. Fangraphs likes McCarthy a little more (0.2 to -0.2), and B-Ref thinks Jose Ramirez should never see the field again (-0.9 bWAR in 6.1 IP) whereas Fangraphs thinks he was simply putrid (-0.2). On the aggregate, though, they’re pretty much on the same page about overall team performance.

    I was lampooned for saying that I wouldn’t be surprised if the rotation put up at least 15 WAR. bWAR has us at 6 WAR right now. If we are to win the division, we will need much better performance out of every spot, especially the 5th spot and spot starters. If that happens, and we eclipse 15, I look forward to my revenge. Especially based on last year’s pen, the crazier number would have been saying 20 WAR from the entire pitching staff, and I’d have a better shot at that considering how hard the bullpen is being worked and the inevitable reinforcements coming up.

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