Washington Pitcher Assasins 6, Braves 3

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about my dislike of the Dodgers. It’s true that I’m no fan of the Dodgers, but what was I thinking? Of course the gNats are the worst!

The only way this team can beat the Braves is to injure our starting pitcher and knock him out of the game after two innings. That formula worked sufficiently for the Natspos to salvage a split of the four game series this week.

In today’s game, Markakis got the Braves off to a good start with a long homer in the top of the second. Anibal Sanchez appeared to be his usual good self in the first couple of innings, but was struck on the calf by a sharp liner in the second inning, which ended his outing. Wes Parsons, making his first major league appearance, was summoned to replace him to begin the third. You’ve got to hand it to the Nats; they know a winning formula when they’ve found one. So, they promptly hit a sharp liner off Parsons’ ankle. He shook that off enough to stay in the game, but he had a very wobbly inning. He walked in a run and allowed another on a sac fly that looked for all the world like it was going to be a grand slam. Whether his shakiness was due the sore ankle or just first game jitters, Parsons did settle down somewhat. He would go on to make a game effort, surrendering 4 runs over five innings.

The biggest problem was the Braves’ inability to do anything with Gio Gonzalez. After Neck’s second inning dinger, the Braves did not dent the scoreboard off Gio. Once the Gnats turned to their pen, Young Ronald hit another homer in the eighth (Soto is great, but I like our kid). A ninth inning rally gained one more run, but by that time the Nats had scored two more in the bottom of the eighth off yet another hurler making his big league debut, Adam McCreery, so the ninth inning rally only got the Braves within three.

We could grumble that Snit threw in the towel by choosing McCreery when the game was still in doubt. I guess the argument is that with 48 games in 48 days, Snit has to be careful to preserve his best bullpen arms. We could also grumble that the Braves missed a chance to send Washington even further behind. But the Braves in these four games did keep the Nats from gaining any ground. And after losing the first game on Tuesday, and with Scherzer looming on Tuesday night, a split is not too bad at all.

So where do the Braves stand, you ask? As we head to the middle of August they are in the thick of a pennant race. One back of the Phillies in the East, still 4 and a half up on the Nationals, and still ahead by one half game for the second wild card. More importantly, look at it this way: the Phillies, Braves, Brewers, Snakes, and Dodgers are separated by just a game and a half, with the Cubs just two games ahead of that pack. There are five playoff spots for those six teams. Of course those aren’t the only contenders for those five spots. Four more teams are within four and a half games of the last wild card spot.

The point is (did I mention this before?), the Braves are in the middle of a pennant race! More fun than we’ve seen in many a year in Braves country. Very big series this weekend at home against Milwaukee, but then again, when you’re in a pennant race, they are all big. Let’s enjoy it—and let’s bury Bud Selig’s old team.

111 thoughts on “Washington Pitcher Assasins 6, Braves 3”

  1. To be as fair as possible, there is an obscure gNat player named Harpoon or something who didn’t play in this game owing to a collision with a Winkler wild one last night. That said, listening to FP Santangelo argue, even over the strenuous objections of DeRosa, that Winkler might have been ordered to hit Valley-PTA or whatever his name is was actually worse than either of Joe Simpson’s transgressions.

  2. @2 That sounds just like Santa-Jello. I hate being stuck with him whenever I see the Braves on TV (i.e. when they play the gNats).

    Nice recap, tfloyd. Agree with what you said. What’s worse is that they used the same formula to win the first game of the series, too.

    I am not about to blame either Parsons or McCreery (or Snit for using them). I wanted to see what they could do as much as I’m sure many of you all here did too. And they were obviously the most rested relievers in the pen. We would have likely seen them even if Sanchez had pitched six.

    With two available slots on the 40-man, I’d like to see the Braves try anyone and everyone from Gwinnett or Mississippi for depth in the pitching staff. Of course,some are more obvious to use than others (i.e. I do not expect to see Wright this year). Next man up is Touki.

    You know, if we need a LH hitter for the bench, it might be time to give Rio another shot. He is really the only LH worth trying at Gwinnett. Honestly, Flaherty’s only value right now is as a Nick Whisperer or a mascot.

  3. I know that schedule talk is a little silly but I think the Braves have an advantage over the Phillies through the end of August. Phils and Nats have six against each other this month and the Braves have eight against the Marlins. And we have a lot of games, yes, but many of them are at home on a really long homestand which begins tomorrow. The Braves just have to keep grinding and events will begin going our way.

  4. tfloyd…you flow…thank you.

    Acuna has removed any lingering doubts and is happy.

    Ozzie is miserable. As are we, for him. Intervention of some sort. Should be hitting 7th for now. Anibal Bats, come forward, whoever you are.

  5. Ozzie Ozaino
    if you knew what I know
    the smile, first returning
    the brain, reengage, this talent’s not for spurning.

  6. that 3-2 slurve
    took a great deal of nerve
    if it had been hit out
    what would have been your first shout?

  7. Snit used one of his best relievers in a game we were winning handily, and went to rookies in a game that was close. He also messed up the platoon splits in the lineup in back to back games. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but he’s not helping. AA needs to step in and give him a little guidance.

  8. For what it’s worth, Kemp is a pumpkin (-11 OPS+ in August and less than 100 OPS+ since June 1st). As usual, he had a very hot April and May.

  9. Key statistic for Brewers/Marlins series – both teams are as high in the standings wrt walks given up as the Braves. Someone needs to tell our guys to take a few pitches and only swing at strikes. Braves have been falling in the walks category hurting our team OBP.

  10. If you had told me at the beginning of the year that Nick Markakis would have his own commercial on MLB Network (just a bunch of highlights of his), I would have thought he died.

  11. Also of note – check out this guy Tetsuto Yamada! He’s a 25 year old 2B hitting .313/.431/.598 with 26 SB (3 CS) – his 3rd of the last 4 seasons with a 1.000+ OPS. Not too shabby!

    @14 Apparently Tetsuto has been referred to as “the Mike Trout of Japan”, so it would only make sense to see what would happen if you got him playing alongside the real Mike Trout.

  12. These two losses are going to hurt, but I can’t bring myself to think that we didn’t play a really good series against Washington on the road. Our starter was pitching well in game 1, and we had to literally turn to our 26th man to essentially act as the starting pitcher of that game. I like Kolby Allard a little more than some, but I definitely didn’t want to throw him against the Nationals. And same with Parsons. If that’s what needed to happen for them to beat us, then I like our chances the rest of the season against them.

    With that said, Milwaukee beat us pretty good in Milwaukee, so this series is going to be tough. Peralta vs. Gausman, Miley vs. Teheran, Anderson vs. Newcomb. I can’t say I love the match-ups.

  13. Trout could retire from MLB a HOFer this year. The Angels probably aren’t going to the playoffs next year either. Let’s do this. Put Trout on the Toyo Carp, make lots of fish puns, profit.

  14. So if I remember correctly, the Braves had their starting pitcher exit after just 2 IP in 2 games vs the Nationals. And the Braves still nearly took 3 of 4 but settled for a split on the road.

    I just don’t know that this team gets nearly enough credit. They simply need to take care of lesser teams.

  15. I have a lot of trouble trying to find a way in which a 5-3 road trip is disappointing.

    Also @8, if you watched that game on Wednesday night, you know that putting guys making their major league debuts into it would’ve been a terrible idea. They got the tying run to the plate late even as it was. It was not garbage time. In fact, it was one of the most uncomfortable 4/5-run leads I’ve ever seen.

  16. @21

    I agree. That Luke Jackson strikeout of Eaton to end the 6th was probably one of the biggest Ks you’ll ever see in a 7-2 game.

  17. Also @8, if you watched that game on Wednesday night, you know that putting guys making their major league debuts into it would’ve been a terrible idea.

    Sorry, but this theory fails to validate against the “everything Brian Snikter does is stupid and dumb” bullet from our original requirements document.

  18. I choose to blame John Schuerholz.

    In hindsight, the data really did support a hard platoon for Klesko. And Gerald Williams was pretty good in ’98.

  19. Tortoise and Hare. August 9

    Stanton exits at 121.7 mph, highest ever for Statcast. Chapman struggles to exceed 95.

  20. To lose 2 starters after 2 innings and come out of the series with the bullpen still pretty well rested is a feat, in my opinion. Anybody we would want to use has had at least one day off.

  21. He’s still hitting righties well (.835 OPS this year), so if they use him right, he’ll probably hit about 823 home runs against us.

  22. @29 @31 If it makes the Marlins weaker that’s better for us. We play the Marlins more than anyone else over the next three weeks – eight times. And the fact that they doubled up on one position is good for us, too. Maybe they picked him up specifically to DH against the Red Sox for two games.

  23. If the Phillies use Bour, then Santana is on the bench. Doesn’t seem like the Phillies gave up too much to get him.

    This quote from Mookie Wilson made my day.

  24. Can’t say I’m particularly excited about Bell and Sobotka. Like McCreery, Sobotka had been an afterthought in the org until about a month ago. But these spots are back end spots that will only appear if there’s no one else. Vizzy and Carle, please come back.

  25. @43 If AA is considering August moves, we’re likely going to rotate through every available 40-man and other Gwinnett pitcher and maybe a few from Mississippi – especially those which will be Rule 5’ers. Whitley is on a rehab- we’ll be seeing him soon.

    I don’t think Bell will be any good but Sobotka has a small chance.

  26. @41: Another icon smashed. Next thing you’ll tell me is that Mickey Rivers never said to Reggie Jackson while Jackson was bragging about his IQ: “IQ? Reggie, you can’t even spell IQ.” or that GW Bush never said “The French don’t even have a word for entrepreneur.”

  27. I don’t find any satisfaction in having to call up prospects to make starts because of injury or rain, so my excitement for the probable Touki start is a little tempered. I’d rather it be that they are definitely ready and they’ve forced a spot open.

  28. Just noticed Bell is a lefty – maybe he’ll just get LOOGY duty, because all of his other numbers tell me I’d rather have him on the other team.

  29. There’s a headline at MLB.com that reads “Animated Maddon ejected after interference call” and I am *super* disappointed that it didn’t involve a cartoon of the Cubs’ manager being shot out of a light cannon mounted on the back of a humanoid robot made out of smaller robot lions.

  30. MLBN says “Oh, look, they started playing baseball in Atlanta. We’ll go there in a minute.” They’re supposed to be televising the game. What the hell? Top of the first and all I see are commercials.

    I guess they’r not really televising it. They must be planning to show Astros/Mariners at 8pm. Damn.

  31. I’m beyond pleased with Ozzie this year and I’m not one to criticize him.

    But I am delighted to see him with a 7 pitch walk in his first AB. He will need to draw more walks. That’s not the same thing as saying he should take the first pitch more. Chipper—and now Freddie—walked at high rates while also swinging at the first pitch very often.

  32. Ozzies OPS is over 1.000 on the first pitch this season. I know this because stat nerds Jim Powell and Don Sutton told me so on my drive home.

  33. @58 I would hope so. Otherwise, it would be a pretty bad strategy. He had a really great AB against Peralta and drew a walk. Peralta is not exactly throwing strikes. I wonder if word went out throughout the dugout.

  34. lol, Gausman has twice as many walks as ozzie in the last month.

    seriously though, he looks surprisingly good at the plate

  35. If Tom Glavine became the permanent analyst I would be happy. Might actually learn something. And he’s not annoying and shuts up when he needs to.

  36. I’m really impressed with Gausman’s command, movement, and pitch mix. He really looks like he could be a MOR+.

  37. @62 not any more. Ozzie has 2 walks tonight…… LOL

    Acuna and Freddie finally getting into the fun too. Hope we save some for the next two days.

  38. You think the Braves were not happy about their performance in Milwaukee and wanted to get some back?

  39. Who the hell is the ump? Perfect strike by Gaus called a ball. These are some of the worst ball/strike calls I’ve ever seen. If I was Snit I’d have been thrown out by now.

  40. Gausman had 51 pitches through 5. He could get into some trouble and still be on a complete game pace.

  41. This is becoming a Madduxian game by Gausman, with the good fielding reflexes included.

    Edit: Jinx

  42. He just lost another strike to a bad call. He’d be doing even better if he got an even break on balls and strikes. No way he should have been 3-0 to Mous.

    Gaus is up to 97 on the gun.

  43. If you take our Dansby’s IBBs from largely being in the 8th spot, he has a .267 OBP. He may not play much in September, TBH.

  44. Tonight’s a really good night to issue the reminder that having a bunch of C+ prospects mean you can package them up to get a guy like Gausman. Doesn’t mean you have to go nuts every time a Tyler Neslony or Greyson Jenista has a good year in A-ball, but the pursuit of a deep supply of them is certainly a good one.

  45. Haha, that’s three times that they barely got Gausman out by a step at first, dude could have been 3-3 with a walk.

    He’s been working deep counts, all ATL pitchers except Julio could learn a thing or two from him.

  46. Gaus is at 80 pitches so he at least has 8 innings in him. Maybe they let Sobotka get an inning in, or they let him get a CG. Both fine with me.

  47. Rome got 3 guys out in 2 pitches for a new record for shortest inning ever tonight.

    How is this possible? It was extra innings, so the new rule this year has a runner on 2nd base to start the inning. The first batter lined out on the first pitch and the runner was doubled off. The next guy grounded out on one pitch. 3 outs.

  48. Chip hasn’t been paying attention at all this game because he just said that was the first time Gausman hit 95

  49. 166 pitches by Brewers so far tonight. Yet they’ve only used three pitchers. Pretty good managing in my book.

    Maddux still possible for Gausman, although unlikely.

  50. Oh no, no Maddux for Gausman tonight but a truly outstanding performance. Whatever they were working on with Gausman, it ….. worked.

  51. Failurety is PH for Gauze.

    The funny thing is that Gausman has been more successful at the plate than Failurety recently.

  52. Nobody is calling Ender “Outciarte” right now. I guess he is hitting his way out of the nickname.

  53. You mean we have Gausman for two more years and we practically gave O’s nothing?

    O’Day will even be a solid addition for next year’s pen.

    My goodness what a trade.

  54. Two observations from Petco. 1) 18 players in this game and not one hitting above .275. 2) Austin Hedges walkup music is Sexual Healing. Not sure which is more disturbing.2-0 Padres when Hedges homers. Sexual Healing indeed.

  55. Ryan Flaherty’s season is more or less dead even with his five years in Baltimore. The guy you’re seeing now is the real Flaherty. The guy that was ripping the cover off the ball in April and May of 2018 is the freaky-deaky outlier.

    Also, just for the record, it looks like Matt Kemp’s annually scheduled second half collapse has arrived as well.

  56. Kemp’s regression is incredibly predictable. On June 10 of last year he was batting. 332 with a. 928 ops. This year he was batting .338 with a .932 ops.

    After getting back from a DL stint, Kemp was batting. 288 with an .805 ops on August 19. This year on August 9 he was batting. 288 with an .822 ops.

  57. Perfect night for the Braves. We won (with impressive off/pit/debut) and gNats, Phightin’s, Brewers, Dodgers, D’Backs all lose. We are now tied for first in division and first WC. And we have second fewest losses in NL all by ourselves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *