Nationals 6, Braves 2

The Nationals jumped on Mike Foltynewicz for 3 runs in the first, and that was all that was needed as the Braves could parlay their 14 hits into only 2 runs.

Foltynewicz battled back from there, holding the Nationals scoreless until the 6th, an inning he started at the 97 pitch mark.  An out away from a quality start, he then allowed consecutive bloop hits, and left after 112 pitches.  Sam Freeman allowed only one of those baserunners to score, then graciously gave way to Shane Carle to finish the inning.  Luke Jackson and Dan Winkler allowed a run apiece in their innings to close the scoring; Winkler allowing a home run to Bryce Harper.

Anthony Rendon had the big hit in the 1st with a 2 run triple, subsequently scoring the 3rd run.  Dansby Swanson drove in the Atlanta runs on a groundout and a single.  Ronald Acuna, Charlie Culberson, and Ender Inciarte each had 3 hits and 0 runs scored.

Foltynewicz remains at 5 quality starts, now in 19 tries, and at 7 times completing at least 6 innings.  Considering the beginning, it was a great effort today to keep that 6th inning man out of the game, which came up just short.  However, to get to full Smoltzie level, Mike will need to keep the pitch count down and pitch deeper into ball games more consistently.  Until then, we can enjoy the improvements Foltzie has shown to date, still understanding this team would benefit from some starters who can consistently reduce the innings needed from the bullpen.

The Braves split the rain shortened series, and stand 1 game behind the first place Phillies.  At Miami on Monday.

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.

65 thoughts on “Nationals 6, Braves 2”

  1. Nice recap. The only thing I’d want to point out about Folty is that he nearly matched up pitch for pitch with Scherzer who didn’t go six either. No matter how disappointing the result, both teams scrapped hard and the Braves put up a good show but couldn’t get a key hit when needed. As someone else said, I’m all for blaming the bullpen but not as much this game as others.

    @121 from previous thread. I saw the Schoop rumors but I dismissed them because the O’s will ask too much and Schoop is not an obvious fit for the Braves unless they can move him to 3B. Not only is his bat highly inconsistent but his defense is questionable. He has horrible range. His arm is good and he makes a great DP turn at 2B but, if he were anywhere near viable at 3B (or SS), then the O’s would have tried him there. What I hear most is people wanting to turn him into a corner OF.

    The only differences I can see in tonight’s game between us and the gNats is that Scherzer prevented Freddie and Nick from doing any damage (and Flowers was terrible). People say to put your best hitter #2 and that’s why Albies is there but Charlie is not Ozzie. I wonder how different the result would have been if Acuna and Culberson had been switched in the lineup. Would any of Acuna’s hits driven in runs when Culberson’s didn’t? Not a criticism just a speculation. And it does make a statement that we need a bat that hits with more authority (note: Albies does do that, of course, but another would be good too).

    Let’s hope the Machodgers beat up on the Phils the next couple of days.

  2. Nice recap. Good comments on Folty.

    14 hits: 12 singles, 2 doubles. 2 runs. That’s not going to work.

  3. From what I saw, I’m not sure if 3 to 4 of those hits would have been hits on a dry day. A few of our long fly outs may have been homers on a different day. Taylor made a great play to rob Swanson of at least a double. Not making excuses, we were putting the ball in play, we had some breaks go against us that costed us dearly.

  4. They had better not trade for Jonathan Schoop. That makes no sense unless you give him the benefit of the doubt that he’s not motivated because he’s playing on a non-contender like Matt Kemp.

    And speaking of Matt Kemp, Matt Kemp is my least favorite baseball player this decade. What a joke. Magically injured and doesn’t play well in San Diego. Magically injured and doesn’t play well in Atlanta. Magically healthy and playing well in Los Angeles. Oh, but it’s his knees! His knees! Ya know, Rob, knee injuries can be brutal! Yeah, those Odd Number Year Knee Degenerative Diseases are a real doozy, huh?

  5. 4 hits squirting through vs. one robbed double sounds like we were lucky (didn’t watch entire game). The narrative is on the bullpen, which is very fair, but anecdotally it seems we struggle to score runs when the top of the order doesn’t hit home runs. We even had some production from the back of the order in this game.

    Delenda est Freeman.

  6. Going to Marlins Park today. Ashamed to say this is my first time seeing this stadium considering it’s so close. Anyone ever been and have anything to caution against or encourage?

  7. Rob,

    The Dodgers have babied Kemp’s knees. He played a lot more innings per game with ATL. My guess is that another component (which he and Braves staff should have put together) is aquacize for general conditioning.

    Tomorrow morning you will have a Miami centric musical recap.

  8. They had better not trade for Jonathan Schoop.

    He’s been looking like 2017 Schoop in July.

    Maybe not before the deadline, but could be a good idea to pre-write a “the-Diamondbacks-were-right-all-along” take for when Dansby is traded.

  9. We’re getting what we want from Swanson. The power has to come from elsewhere. SLG > OBP in this era. Homers are a necessity.

    But to be fair, we just missed 2 or 3 homers yesterday. The baseball gods frowned upon us.

  10. I’m not all that down on Kemp. He had some good months for us, then dropped off horribly in other months. I don’t think it was from lack of trying and I still wouldn’t be surprised to see him tank before the end of the year.

  11. @7, just be careful where you’re sitting, Rob. When the roof is closed, the aircon is so brutal in your neck if you’re sitting in the airflow area. Hope this makes sense. Then again, it might be my sensitive European reaction to a/c..

  12. @8

    If the Braves ran Kemp’s knees into the ground, then shame on them. I would also wonder, though, if San Diego also knowingly rode Kemp too hard. And it would certainly seem like it would be something the Braves would do consider how hard they’re riding Ozzie, Freddie, Ender, and Nick (especially). Maybe they just don’t buy giving guys the few innings and days off here and there keeps them fresh, which would seem silly.

  13. I would be surprised if Kemp tanked by the end of the year. He’s in the MVP race, the Dodgers are in the World Series race, and I think he’s happy in LA and happy being in the midst of all of that. The Dodgers may indeed also be doing a better job of managing his health, which is good on them. I’ve convinced myself after all these years that he’s a temperamental athlete that got called out by his club’s GM, by the local beat writer, had to issue a mea culpa in The Player’s Tribune, and probably has been called out by others that we don’t know of. To the best of my knowledge, I’ve never questioned another player’s effort level, so I’d like to think I’m not “one of those guys”.

  14. AA wants a lot:

  15. Yeah, but he’s not alone in that market. I just read the Rays are also looking for controllable players.

    I also feel like he’s being a bit dishonest with us by stating it that way. I’m sure lots of teams can afford a bunch… of cheap controllable players.

    I expect to ride through this deadline without so much as one significant move for this season unless he strikes gold and obtains a controllable player. Will the cost be worth the gain? It’ll be debatable, but at least we’ll control it for a few years on a cheap contract.

  16. @5
    C’mon, roided-up Melky taunting the fans and Jason Heyward in his return to Atlanta was this decade.

  17. From Keith Law’s latest chat:

    Jefferson K.: How bad would Pache’s bat have to be to not be a big league starter?
    Keith Law: He’s going to be in the discussion for best defensive CF in the game when he gets there. You don’t have to hit much – and he’s going to be a 20-HR type – to be a starter when you’re saving 15+ runs a year with your glove too.

    Larry: Hey Keith, I know you’ve said before that you have come around some to Austin Riley. I’m still confused about him though. How valuable is he really if he’s striking out this much?
    Keith Law: The contact rate & bat speed remain the concerns. He’s done wonders with his body, become a legit third baseman, and has real power.

    http://meadowparty.com/blog/2018/07/19/klawchat-7-19-18/

  18. Man I could spend hours reading old threads. The Summer of 2012: left standing at the altar by Ryan Dempster.

  19. Kemp doesn’t make my top 3 list of most disliked Braves. Melky, BJ, and Garret Anderson are hard to beat on that list. Melky is my clear cut least favorite Brave. At 25 Melky hit .255 with 4 hrs and a .671 ops in Atlanta and then hit 18 hrs with an .809 ops in KC, followed by hitting. 346 with a .906 ops in San Francisco.

  20. Kemp hit .280 with an .855 ops in 2016 in Atlanta. If he could have fielded his weight he would have been valuable at any position. He’s had a resurgence over the last few weeks with LA, but he batted .220 with a .749 ops in June. I wouldn’t etch it in stone that Kemp will stay hot down the stretch.

  21. Braves are scouting Cole Hamels in his start tonight. Sounds like the Rangers would not need to seek permission to deal him to Atlanta (he has limited no-trade clause blocking 20 teams, Braves not blocked).

    I don’t know why the Braves choose to be interested in Hamels. His 4.36 ERA, 5.06 FIP, and 0.4 fWAR leave a lot to be desired. As a replacement for McCarthy, I’ve got to think that we have plenty of young arms capable of that 5.06 FIP or better.

    But okay…

  22. Same reason Anibal Sanchez’s 5+ FIP in 2017 hasn’t been an issue for us this year. The AL is miles better than the NL hitting-wise, and has been for a long time.

    As long as Hamels just costs money I think it’s worth a shot.

  23. Word to the wise, Derek: if you can’t fill the seats, don’t charge me $18.50 for a double. I think he wants me to pay as much for Captain as the Yankees paid the Captain.

  24. If they are scouting Hamels, he is getting hammered.

    Suddenly, Newcomb has retired 5 in a row.

  25. We needed a day against the Marlins to remember who we are.

    FakeDansby is liking this batting 2nd gig.

    Last night the gNats announcers called him a Dansby clone. Someone out there is reading the blogs.

  26. That quality start didn’t pass the smell test, but Newk got the job done. It was hard to watch at times though.

    Phils lead Bums 5-4.

  27. Not a big deal, but would have liked to avoid using Carle in this 9-1 game. Would have been a good night to run Philips or Jackson out there, I think.

  28. Eno Sarris at The Athletic (which I’m happy with so far BTW…might expand on that at some point) put out an article today spitballing possible trades the three NL East contenders could make. He was essentially dreaming up trades that make some sense, not saying that these trades are being rumored as in the works or that the teams would necessarily do them.

    The two he did for the Braves were trading Kyle Muller and Alex Jackson to the Royals for Mike Moustakas and (the one I can’t wait to see how much everyone hates) trading Christian Pache, Luiz Gohara and Josh Graham to the Rays for Chris Archer.

    Thoughts?

  29. @56 No way Moustakas is worth that much. No team in the league would pay that much for a rental of that quality. Archer may be worth that much but I’m not sure those two are who we’d trade. I’d include another top 10 (Braves) pitcher as opposed to a hitter, especially Pache. Not saying I think we should do an Archer trade but I’m not totally opposed either. He may not provide elite run prevention but he will give you 7 innings most times out.

  30. @56 I think Moustakas will bring more like Tucker Davidson and Luis Marte – something like that. About what Familia brought.

  31. From Klawchat:

    “Larry: Where would Carter Stewart have been in your top 50?
    Keith Law: Top 25-ish? But again, I have no idea what’s going on with him. I can only grade the player I saw in the spring, but I don’t know if there’s a health consideration.”

  32. Prediction.

    Sometimes the trees clear away and we can see the wood, clearly. Acuna’s emergence has made it more than likely we can impact the post season so who’s next in our wish list, where’s the biggest gap?

    Behind the plate. We are talking to the Fish, right now, before we leave. Realmoto. We will be offering Contreras and two young arms, you pick ’em. They’ve been up all night. Make it three. We’ll pick ’em together then we say.

    Do it, over an early breakfast.

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