Dodgers 5 Braves 1…and the beat goes on.

 

malaise. [ma-leyz, -muh-; French ma-lez] noun.   a vague or unfocused feeling of mental uneasiness, lethargy, or discomfort.

 

Our Braves are now formulaic. Two games of a four game series are quite enough to predict the third. And the fourth. A certain pecking order has been established, a major disparity in performance, and one wonders how long forty thousand people are going to keep coming to watch and pay. For now they are very loyal and almost embarrassingly hopeful. Heads are about to roll, a major distraction is necessary, there NOW must be an addition of real consequence in the next 48 hours. In a real sense it doesn’t matter who he is and how he hits for us, the point being we can say they tried. A bat it must be, an expensive pitcher now would be laughable. That is not the base problem, we can’t hit.

 

 

Trying to break out of this awful funk last night there appeared to be two possible routes in. Max Fried was back on the mound after a highly successful rehab stint with no blisters found. We were then told that our 3,4 and 5 hitters were all, incredibly, 7 for 11 against Alex Wood who had an awful ERA against us and no wins. Well now.

The first hope was realized. Max brought a healthy young arm to the fray and excited us all with his promise against a power hungry line up. He ended up at 5 plus innings, 2 hits, three walks and seven strike outs. Superb, and great hope for the future. Fast ball up to 97 astonished us, and a  lovely curve that he will soon be able to throw where he wants it.

We do NOT have a starting pitcher problem, we are in excess in that department. Our bullpen is a major embarrassment and entirely predictable and either Snit goes or Freeman, Moylan and company must be dispatched for good. Why we are practically in August and this has still not been done is hard to understand. Fuel for the fire.

Our second hope lies in tatters in the box score together with the rest of the offense.  Forget 7 for 11 times three, try 0 for 9 from the heart of the order. Pathetic, Freeman included, ( I worry for his wrist). Alex Wood for pete’s sake!

To summarize, this is first and last a hitting problem, a power problem. Do with it what you will AA, from within and without, but do it now.

 

141 thoughts on “Dodgers 5 Braves 1…and the beat goes on.”

  1. Imagine how our line up feels about the trade deadline. July has been rough. Our guys have been watching the bullpen let the team down for weeks. I think our hitters are aware that help may not be on the way for them like it is for the Phillies.

    It’s not as much a hitter problem as it is a team one. We’re disappointed so imagine what those guys feel.

  2. @ #5

    Yeah, Heyman picked up on that as well:

    MLB needs to attract young fans, not turn them off by obsessing over dumb rules of decorum from 50 years ago. Tip to the Braves broadcasters: The phrase “Walter Alston would be rolling over in his grave,” should be banned from future telecasts.

  3. If there’s a young fan who thinks dressing casually for batting practice makes the game appreciably more fun, I’ll eat my hat.

  4. If there’s a young fan who gives a rip about what Joe Simpson thinks, I’ll eat my hat. Shoot, most fans who lean towards a traditional viewpoint of the game get off the boat with him. He doesn’t represent his viewpoint very well.

  5. I agree with this. I don’t know if it points to a disconnect between AA or Snitker so much as we may just be in a temporary spot of the roster where the Braves just haven’t added to the roster yet. But Snit is going to play the roster he has, and he’s getting killed for it. And if I’m the manager, I’m not going to run the bullpen into the ground while the offense is terrible. Snitker is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

  6. “Sounds like he’s daring AA to fire him” — Was Snitker even part of the Plan(TM)? My guess is no.

    Would anyone be shocked if the Braves fire Snitker this off season citing a sub .500 finish and poor bullpen management as key reasons for moving on?

  7. Bottom line, I just can’t get worked up about individual manager decisions when Moylan, Freeman, Jackson, Flaherty, and Reed are on the roster. I like Reed, and he may be good, but if you’re going to platoon Ender, you need to give that person 30-40 PAs, and I’m not sure I’d give that to Reed.

    Jackson is fine, but only as the long man. He can’t be the best of the rested options to pitch in a one-run game, and that’s what happened. Then because he can’t get the job done, you have to bring in Venters in back-to-back games when no one has any idea if he can handle that.

    Missing the Nick Markakis of the first two months, the bullpen of the first two months, Vizcaino, Soroka, and Gohara really hurts right now. I think I’ll avoid Twitter for a while since this is apparently all Snit’s fault over there.

  8. @11

    I think that’s exactly what happens, but it happens even if they finish above .500 or even make the playoffs. I think he’s gone either way. Remember, it was a surprise that he was retained, and the beat writers speculated that it was simply because of the upheaval in the FO. And since I don’t think he wants to work elsewhere, this is Snit’s last hurrah as a manager either way.

  9. Exciting day for the Braves, regardless. I know Chipper Copenhaver, the family German Shepherd, is very excited for his namesake.

  10. If the question is whether or not I’d want Michael Reed or an Eric Hinske-type, then the answer is:

    ::deleted YouTube link because it was screwing up mobile::

    Our own Jonathan Hyde can be seen in the first row right near the corner, dark blue shirt, blue jeans to the right of the red-shirted person.

  11. About the only thing Snitker can do differently is to ride the starters past 100 pitches, which opens up its own set of problems. Personally, I think Snitker’s done a hell of a job, with the hand he’s been dealt.

  12. As Rob says, Snit can only use the players on the 25 man roster. The roster has strengths. It also has weaknesses.

    Neither Ender nor Dansby, regardless of defensive prowess, contribute consistently with the bat. Our catchers no longer combine into an elite bat for their position, and their defense is woeful, regardless of how well Flowers frames pitches. I love what Markakis brings, but he is not a clean up hitter.

    We have three starters who might -MIGHT!-pitch into the seventh when all their pitches are working and the two young ones uncharacteristically throw strikes.

    Our bullpen was never elite. Now it’s overworked.

    God bless Snit. AA has not.

  13. I’m presently out of positive things to say.

    As much as Sam tries to cast me as Tad II, I at least try to rein the negativity in.

    There’s 2 more days — there could be more trades. I just believe the team’s morale is low. They see the standings. They see the Phillies getting reinforcements. The whole team is in a funk. Can you expect a team to overcome its flaws in addition to its front office? That’s what we’re (fans) being asked to do, and it feels awkward. This team had magic for 3 months, and now the organization wants me to think it was SSS and luck.

  14. The continued refusal, for the most part, to let starters go an extra inning or two to relieve some pressure from the bullpen is on Snit, and I don’t really get it. The continued weird use of bullpen pieces matchup-wise is also on Snit. Yesterday, he brought in Moylan to face a lefty and Venters to face a righty. That’s just freaking bizarre.

    You guys are right that there’s only so much he can do right now, but one can easily formulate a narrative where a large portion of this slump is on him (or at least started with his management), if they wish. The continued (often times fairly needless) pulling of his starters after 75 to 85 pitches over the first two to three months taxed the bullpen, which resulted in them slumping in late June and into July, and that’s where this general team slump started. If you remember those games a week or two before the All-Star break, the bullpen never gave us a chance to come back. A 2-run deficit would always turn into a 4-run deficit, etc. The team as a whole started pressing, and now is completely off the rails.

    I’m not saying I’d put all of this on Snitker, but his management of the bullpen has absolutely fanned the flames of this whole thing. If this team continues down toward .500 by the end of the season, I don’t know how you can keep him. Yes, it’s better than was “expected” at the start of the year, but like I’ve been saying with AA, plans should change based on current results. If he takes a team that was 15 games over .500 midway through the season and quickly falls out of the playoff race with it, the axe blade should absolutely drop.

  15. And Fried was PH for last night with 2 outs and nobody on base in the bottom of the 5th, while he was pitching well and could have gone another inning.

  16. It is scary reading the reports of Braves interest in Archer. The price will be high and he is the American League’s version of Teheran. Residing in the bay area, I sometime forget which of the two I’m watching. Run, run fast from any Archer deal.

  17. Joe made the front page of USAToday, too, for his BP rant. Probably not the best publicity for the team.

    I’m not sure this org really wants, strike that, knows how to win. I know most of you will scoff but last year’s team was competitive up to the deadline, too. Right at .500. And then the team sold off Garcia for not much and started dicking around with Adams and Freeman rather than really solving the problem. And the season was quickly lost. Same as this year – in the last week of July and early August. The team then started looking better as they brought up reinforcements from the minors after all was lost.

    I am just saying that they had enough warning last year that this team could compete. They are either making conscious decisions to throw in the towel or are not competent. Or are being held back by Liberty or something.

    I do like our farm, of course, but nothing, absolutely nothing, makes up for winning at the Major League level.

    Snit’s use of the bullpen, as I stated on last night’s thread, was unusual for Snit. That is what really stands out. And the fact that he is trotting out the exact same lineup as his norm on a Sunday day game after a night game is more evidence he is not really managing to win (or at least to try and shake things up).

    I was frustrated at how the Braves gave up last year but this year is just maddening. It is starting to feel like the late season collapses of the team before the rebuild. Where is Fred McGriff when you need him?

  18. @20 I kinda supported the decision to PH because the Braves needed offense. If Reed had gotten on base ahead of Acuna, it could have changed the game. Plus, as I’ve said before, the Braves have the worst hitting pitchers in the league. If any of them could get lucky enough to put the bat on the ball, they might have a chance of staying another inning. Kershaw beat us single-handedly by going 1/1 with 3 walks (3 WALKS) and a 2-run single. More than his pitching, his hitting broke our backs.

    @21 Agreed. He does/will not bring back the value for the price.

  19. You can’t manage every game like it’s Game 7. It was only the bottom of the 5th. And with 2 outs, nobody on, chances are already low.

  20. We know that AA is a high stakes gambler at GM. His approach at the deadline this year seems like a gamble on next year over this one. It’s not unlike his handling of Stewart where he is also gambling on next year over Stewart. Which seems odd. We thought not signing Stewart could mean more money at the deadline, but that seems far from AA’s reality where now I wonder is that money deferred to next year as well? Are we deferring our wagers and placing a bet on next year or, hopefully not, the next (2020)?

    Reading up on AA paints an interesting picture of a man who makes mistakes (passing on Sale in the draft, trading Thor for what?) and I see that pattern emerging here where he is not afraid to do something unthinkable based on the evidence he sees. For worse, we may rue the loss of Stewart, but hopefully AA strikes gold and we’re all chanting at SunTrust in ’19 or ’20 because our gambler has won big on few hands.

  21. So why is it that with such a fabulously wonderful farm system, the Braves never have a winning team in the high minors – anything above Rome? I keep thinking that someday all these great pitching performances along with the decent hitters that we do have that one of those farm teams will put it together.

    Gwinnett has gotten murdered so badly by SWB that I have to wonder who really has the best farm.

    P.S. I think it’s not coincidental that Snitker was managing some of those teams with great prospects.

  22. I don’t care about Snitker. I am happy the Phillies traded Kilome to put Asdrubal not at 2B every game, and I think their approach to this deadline is going to pay dividends for us.

    I eagerly await news of what Chris Archer gets traded for. AAR (I think) had it right: he’s Javier Vazquez, not Teheran.

  23. Gohara is pitching today instead of Allard with scouts watching…maybe another reason for the scratch.

  24. Diekman’s BB rate is ghastly but he gets the job done. Both ERA and FIPs in the 3s.

    Gohara is either liable to be a stud, or out of baseball within 2-3 years.

    Make the trade.

  25. Seems like Gohara is a little steep (I’d rather see Wentz/Muller go out) but I guess you have to give to get. I guess this deadline seems to be costing more in prospect capital than the usual deadline. It sure would be nice if Beltre came with the other two (i.e. without costing too much more). Might be willing to give a bunch more if we got Profar as opposed to Beltre. Profar/Kela/Diekman would be a sweet return for whatever we have to give up. Profar is finally starting to figure it out and he plays all over the diamond.

  26. Well, whatever happens…something is going to happen. It doesn’t tend to get this deep into it without something happening.

  27. We’re starting to be involved in an actual trade rumor and we immediately take a 2-run lead. Coincidence? I think not!

    @22

    Joe always gets super cranky when he has to watch a long stretch of losing baseball. This is the time of year when, typically, he repeatedly goes off on long diatribes about very random things, or talks about how drunk he’s gonna get on the plane that night, or whatever. This is the farthest he’s gone, that I can recall, into making a complete and utter ass of himself. I’m guessing he didn’t realize that the shirt Utley was wearing said Strike Out Cancer, because that makes him look even worse.

  28. Amazing that, upon first seeing a right handed starter for the first time since we last won, we start scoring runs again. Maybe the original narrative that we hit LH great and need a LH power hitter may have been wrong. Maybe we do need a RH power hitter.

    I’d still gladly have Gohara headline a deal that included a hitter as well as a prime relievers – i.e, like a Profar/Kela/Diekman deal or even with Beltre.

    Anyone interested in Minor? He’s more expensive but could be used in either relief or rotation. Kela/Minor? I’d still like to have a hitter, too, but could Gohara go over for Minor/Kela?

  29. Enough about Joe. My obligatory Chip rant: did no one notice Chip’s comment a couple of nights ago that he’s never been to Cooperstown? Interesting, given that his grandfather received the Ford Frick award there. Couldn’t be bothered to attend?

  30. We’re also apparently in on the Orioles’ Brad Brach, according to some Orioles reporter for MASN.

  31. Horrible umpire call. That is really Mickey Mouse shit. Newk stayed in the batter’s box for crissakes.

    Still, Newk can’t get a bunt down. More bad pitcher hitting. That is really significant no matter how small you think it is. Will cost us at least one win over the course of the season.

  32. Even if you throw out the Kershaw start because Kershaw, it is interesting that we could get absolutely nothing against so-so lefties on the other two days, and now look OK against a righty.

    LOL…that was such a horseshit call! Absolutely ridiculous! He was still standing in the batter’s box!

  33. You don’t get many chances to get ejected as a manager nowadays. If I were Snitker, I might’ve taken that one. What a crock!

  34. They might be showcasing Gohara for the O’s. My idea of a Gohara and Teheran fueled deal for Gausman/Schoop/Brach not sounding too bad. If we could get a big deal with either the Rangers or O’s for a bat/SP/CL would be AbFab – especially for controllables.

  35. There could be multiple teams interested in Kela, Diekman, and/or Beltre and there could be multiple teams interested in Gohara, so who knows what is going to happen. Some basis of “Gohara for a couple relievers” seems to be the consistent deal that could happen.

  36. By the way, this game is also on TBS for anyone wanting to take a Chip and Joe break. I know I’m taking advantage. Game is being called by Brian Anderson (who I’m a fan of) and Ron Darling (who…meh).

  37. Newcomb retired the last 8 in a row in his last start and now the first 10 in a row today.

  38. If you had any faith that Newcomb could get a bunt down, you could’ve done a squeeze there, but a suicide squeeze with Newcomb batting is like playing Russian roulette with all but one slot having a bullet.

  39. Beltre, as great a player as he has been, has lost his power at 39 years old. He’s not good enough to displace Camargo. he’s not good enough to move Camargo to short.

    The TX relievers are competant, but I wouldn’t move a prospect like Gohara for 50 innings that could be Ron Mahay or Octavio Dotel. I’d trade Allard for that.

  40. Amazing how Dodgers went to a lefty and Braves offense immediately disappears.

    Marlins and Reds doing their best to keep us in the race.

  41. Interesting sequence – announcers said Newk just shook off Zuk for the first time today and snapped off an amazing curve for the K. He’s in some kind of zone.

    These are the kinds of days where you think Newk might have drunk some Liquid Luck.

  42. I doubt the Braves care a whole lot. Joe made it right, and that’s probably all the Braves cared about. Good for Joe, and maybe this will shut him up a little bit. Or maybe at the end of the season, the Braves shut him up for good.

  43. Pulling him would be so asinine that I can’t even begin to fathom….and he’s on deck, so thankfully, we’re not so far. He always takes six or seven days off between starts anyway, why 120-130 pitches would be a catastrophe, I’m not really sure.

  44. I’m glad they didn’t pull him, especially if Teheran is starting tomorrow. The pen needs its rest.

  45. Before the question is asked, the answer is yes. They should send him back out there for the ninth.

  46. I love it when Newk is working this fast. He did this also when he first came up. What a game.

    @91 there should be no question

  47. He threw one curveball to Puig. All other pitches were fastballs, according to Gameday.

    My answer is I would pull him. No way I let that young of a pitcher get into those kind of pitch counts. The win today AND the next time he pitches is the thing, not some “no hitter.”

  48. I just don’t buy that this has anything whatsoever to do with his ability to win his next game. Since they’ll pull him on the first hit, I think it has absolutely zero to do with winning this game.

    In general, the devaluing of the no-hitter/perfect game as something not worth worrying about is probably my least favorite aspect of analytics in regards to pitching and bullpen use. If this were a playoff game, sure…but it’s not, obviously.

  49. The whole point of pitch counts is to protect the long-term health of the pitcher. No-hitters and perfecto are direct antagonists of that, so it’s simply going to exist unless they become convinced a sporadic lifting of pitch count restrictions is okay.

  50. The Dodgers were the team Kent Mercker pitched his complete game no hitter against in 1994.

    Mercker started and pitched the first 6 innings of a no hitter in September 1991 as well.

  51. @99

    Kent Mercker for six (in a spot start), a young Mark Wohlers for two, and Alejandro Pena for one against San Diego.

  52. AHHHHH!

    Wow, great job, Newk. What a day. You could read his lips saying, “no, one more” at the dugout.

  53. We’re just never gonna have a guy throw a no-hitter again. That’s the third time that’s happened in the ninth in like the last five years, second time with two outs in the ninth.

  54. Newcomb ended up with 134 pitches thrown and will probably get skipped next time through.

  55. You could see what little emotion Newk shows with the heavy breathing in the 9th. You hope that the level of tension in something like that can prepare him for October.

  56. @113

    They’ll certainly give him the extra day or two that they like to on occasion. I don’t know why they’d need to skip him unless he has soreness or fatigue or something.

  57. Never understood why they just let a guy have a free base steal .. Newcomb deserved a better effort there.. to go 8 2/3 of only 1 hit ball .. his line now adds a run given up .. I just think if a guy throws that many pitches and give that kind of effort .. you play ALL the game like you do the first pitch …

  58. Passan saying Allard will start Tuesday:

  59. Yup, lost the no-no. Well, it’s been real, but AA’s gotta tear it down and rebuild. Just how it is.

  60. (Actual danger is that AA was on the same emotional roller coaster as the rest of us and will subsequently make a bad trade or three as a result.)

  61. Someone has dug up Newcomb’s old tweets and apparently he has some Josh Hader like tweets, which I will not repeat.

  62. Brach to Braves!

    I just hope it’s last year’s Brach not this year’s Brach. He needs to be properly handled to be successful and he’s a much better set-up than closer.

  63. Brad Brach is better than Peter Moylan today. And Brach could return to the form for the previous 6 years where he had a 2.96 ERA. So, definitely a good move for another $250K in international bonus pool money. Wonder if any of his remaining salary (owed $5.1M this year) is coming over.

  64. @128 That’s incredible! I am officially revising my opinion of AA to at least say that he has produced something from nothing, which is impressive. I’d still like to see one of the combo trades possibly being mentioned and he certainly hasn’t reduced any of his available prospect capital. A controllable SP and bat would surely not be a bad idea.

    Both Venters and Brach are indeed upgrades at a paltry cost even for rentals. There’s no reason either couldn’t be signed longer term – won’t be big FA.

    My money is on Moylan being out. Although Jackson could be optioned. *rolls eyes*

  65. At one point are teams going to have a clubhouse meeting telling each player to go through their Twitter accounts. C’mon, guys…

  66. I know many were confused about the pool money in 2018, but being able to trade it this year really softens the blow of the sanctions.

  67. If you’re a fan of incremental improvement or clever deals, it makes sense to celebrate. These deals by themselves don’t move the dial. I’ll reserve my applause for later.

  68. @132 Yes. True. And he has the capability to pitch like the last 6 years. He was an All Star set-up option and trying to be a closer, in my opinion, messed him up the last two seasons. He overthrows and loses his command and gets hurt when he leaves something over the plate. If he is used properly and gets his confidence going, he will be very good. And he needs to build value for his FA contract. He will benefit by change of scenery and pitching for a contender.

  69. Venters and Brach are obviously not the deadline deals that move the needle in their single moves. But we need depth and quality in the pen, and they provide both. And we’ve paid so little for them that if they don’t work out, we can move on easily. But Minter/Winkler/Biddle/Carle/Brach/Venters is an okay top 6. If Vizzy can come back, that’s a pretty good top 7. It’s a very strong unit if Kela is added.

    If they don’t feel like making “the big deal”, then I can live a rotation of Folty/Newcomb/Anibal/Teheran/Fried. If Allard pitches well, and they don’t trade Gohara, then they start having some interesting decisions to make.

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