“Their Finest Day:” Braves 9, 6 / Fish 1 , 1

How sweep it is.

cliff, the 43rd Baron de Clare spoke this at 9:00 a.m. GMT today before the House of Lords:

“Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the Braves Dynasty Rebuild shall last again for fourteen years, men will still say, ‘This was their Finest Day.'”

Good offense: check.

Good pitching: check.

Good baserunning: check.

Impact on a pennant race: check. Gained a whole game on the Phillies and a game and a half on the gNats. Gained a game and a half on the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, and Brewers in prospective wildcard standings.

Good news on the player development / rebuild front: check. Touki Toussaint isn’t quite great, but he is already more than workable and likely to continue to improve. Acuna Matata should be renamed by granting to him an altered version of the moniker of the patron saint of Bravesdom: Bad Ronald. Johan Camargo is a middle class man’s version of Young Chipper. Chad Sobotka can sling it, hard. The Polish Prince gave up 1 and WENT 8 INNINGS. All hail the Prince.

Yes, the Fish are not a good team. But good teams are supposed to beat bad teams. The team of April has returned and seeks to bring its vengeance on the naysayers and the nattering nabobs of negativism.

And just imagine the shutdown pitching when we get to September 1. Just win, baby.

170 thoughts on ““Their Finest Day:” Braves 9, 6 / Fish 1 , 1”

  1. That was one of the best days to be a Braves fan(atic) in a very long time.

    Touki is a keeper. When Acuna improves on D(he’s currently not very good) he’s going to be a top 3 player in the game.

    I’m getting to the point of just telling Camargo, you’re the Braves 3B of the present and the future and using Riley as part of a trade package for a #1 SP.

  2. Chief, I feel similarly about Camargo. I don’t expect him to be anything more than what we see today, and what that amounts to is a guy I want to see in the lineup just about every night. He’s a contributor.

    I think the Braves should be set on the infield for this offseason. They should direct their funds to the outfield, obviously.

    PS. I hit post and realize they are going to need to do some homework at the catcher position, but everyone already knows I don’t throw a fortune at JT Realmuto and instead settle for a younger Kurt Suzuki if he can be found.

  3. Camargo, Riley and Dansby can share SS and 3B for a 162 game season. There are enough at bats to share. The team needs depth anyway.

  4. @4 Camargo’s development this year has been a huge boon to the Braves – he’s a good defender at 3B/SS and increased his walk rate and power this season to become an above-average hitter.

    IMO, that doesn’t mean that Austin Riley is blocked… the Braves could easily give Riley a chance to primarily play a corner outfield spot (he certainly has the arm for it) with spot starts at 3B (Johan moving to SS) if Dansby is out of the lineup for whatever reason.

    On the other hand, if the Mets take a liking to Riley, I’d let him go for DeGrom.

  5. Excellently done, cliff. To paraphrase Tolstoy, All happy baseball teams are alike, but each unhappy team is unhappy in its own way. Right now, we be alike.

  6. Yes, excellent job, cliff, the Baron de Clare.

    I would add that after a very slow start in the early months, the Monday Braves are on fire, thanks largely, I submit, to the resilience and leadership of our own Monday Master, cliff.

  7. Acuna added 0.5 fWAR to his total yesterday, so he’s sitting at 2 fWAR for the year. He’s about a 5 fWAR guy at 600 PAs. Ho hum.

  8. Kind of a meaningless thing, but I’d like to see Atlanta enter the playoffs with 5 hitters in the lineup with 20+ homers. Currently, there are 3 who are a shoe in, but Markakis and Camargo could possibly reach that milestone.

  9. While there was another good pitching performance from a youngster, Kyle Wright went 7 IP, one hit, no runs, 8 K at AAA.

  10. If you apply some of Culberson’s HRs to SS, and call Flowzuki one guy, you’ve got 7 guys with 15+ HRs. That’s not bad. Three guys near the top of the franchise all-time single season XBH totals too.

  11. I’m with kc @5.

    I’m a believer in Camargo, but enjoy the depth we have currently, especially as a hedge against shortstop not developing the productivity we could get from that position. Still sure about Dansby.

  12. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see the need for panic over there in Washington. I think that having watched Bobby Cox has etched that mindset into my brain — sure, they may not recover well enough to grab the division. That team, though, is freaking loaded, and there’s no reason they can’t grab a wildcard spot and make a lot of noise in the playoffs. The only thing to do is ride the tumultuous waves of a long baseball season knowing there’s still a month and a half, minimum, of baseball to be played. If any team can rattle off a 14-game winning streak, it’s those guys.

    So the thing to do is to stay calm and be confident.

    Although I do enjoy seeing those guys implode and freak out. It makes me forever thankful for Bobby Cox and those Atlanta Braves of the ’90s.

  13. @15: The subtext is Harper. This franchise was always going to be hard-pressed to keep him against clubs who were inevitably going to offer more money. If the team were *successful,* that would be a major selling point. “Dysfunctional underachievers” doesn’t have the same nonpecuniary benefit.

    Oh, and to recover, all they need to do is bring back managers who are former Braves, particularly their former managers Felipe Alou, Dusty Baker and Davey Johnson, though you could throw in Joe Torre as well. Hell, Tony LaRussa, too.

  14. I dunno, there SURE IS A LOT OF BUZZ around Rizzo getting canned.

    Someone really should ask Jim Bowden on Twitter to confirm.

  15. If your team suffers back-to-back walkoff losses, and you’re the manager, your job is to get your team ready to play the next game.

    Publicly saying “I don’t know what else to do” is ridiculous. Does he seriously think that blaming his players is going to make the team more competitive?

  16. @15, the reason that they’re unlikely to grab a wild card spot is that they have to leapfrog five other teams: http://www.espn.com/mlb/standings/_/view/wild-card

    If they want to take one of the spots that currently belongs to the Brewers or Phillies, they have to climb six games in the standings by outwinning the Cardinals, Pirates, Rockies, Dodgers, AND either the Phillies or Brewers. It’s possible they could do it if they rip off a 14-game winning streak, but it’s all but impossible if they don’t.

  17. @#19

    A lot of that has to do with how he canned one reliever and traded another when the pen was already short-handed because of injury.

  18. @15
    To win the east they would need to make up a game a week from here on out on both us and the Phillies.

    It’s not impossible, but it is improbable. They only have three more games against us.
    Plus we have 7 games vs the Phillies, those days they can only get ground on one of us.

    While they have several games against the Marlins and Mets, they also have to play the Brewers and Cubs.

  19. Rley has done better lately, but even after going something like 8 for his last 12 with 2 doubles and a hr, he’s batting. 284 with a .773 ops in AAA. I’m pulling for him, but at 21 he may need another year or 2 and is definitely not ready now. Camargo, with a .265 ba and. 802 ops, is far superior at this point, and I don’t expect that to change next year.

  20. @22, the real issue is that, after an initial nice trade for Kelvin Herrera, he didn’t get anybody else. You can swallow getting rid of Kintzler and Kelley to “send a message” or something, if you actually address the roster.

  21. Camargo is averaging a strike out every 4.66 at bats, a walk every 8.8 at bats, and a hr every 24.4 at bats.

    Otoh, Freeman is averaging a k every 4.84 at bats, a walk every 7.7 abs, and a hr every 23.95 at bats.

    We could have something pretty special with Camargo.

  22. I’ve been thinking Camargo is our new Prado, but he’s showing more power than Prado did. (Of course, offense is up across the league compared to Prado’s prime 5-8 years ago.) If he hits for more average, he could be our new Marcus Giles.

    Even if this turns out to be the best year of his career, he’s a really good little player. If he keeps improving the way he has been, he could be special.

    Kind of amazing he’s better than Lt. Dans, but their body of major league work certainly all seems to point in that direction.

  23. Didn’t realize until today how much the schedule favors the Phillies going forward. They have 17 remaining games against the Marlins and Mets while the Braves have nine, and the Braves have a nasty seven-game road trip against the Diamondbacks and Giants while the Phillies have a four-gamer in Colorado (sandwiched in between the two final head-to-head series, for whatever that’s worth). Braves also have their full slate against the Pirates coming up, while the Phillies have finished with them. The bright spot is that the Phils do have two extra game against the Cubs.

    If the end of this Marlins series is a high point, September 13 may be a low point. If the Braves are still within two games on that day, they’ve got a real shot.

  24. Anon21 @ 32,

    If they don’t catch us by September 1, they won’t. Nobody has the 40 man reinforcements that we have. Lane Adams will be added as designated pinch runner. An extra catcher gives you Flow and Zuke as pinch hitters on their off days. Rio may give you a competent left handed AB or two. The bullpen / starting reinforcements will be huge.

  25. @33: That’s a good point, but not sure it will overcome the Braves’ tendency to completely fall on their faces during West Coast road trips. At least they already finished up with the Dodgers…

  26. @31 I’ve come around to the idea that Dansby Swanson is one of those guys who is going to take a few years to put it together at the plate. His defense has become his saving grace, but if he puts it all together he will go from a 2 bWAR guy to a 4-5 bWAR guy.

  27. On the schedule again, the timing of the schedule is such that the Braves need to gain ground now, playing the Marlins at home while Philly finishes up with Boston.

    In total though the rest of season SOS edge for the Phillies is negligible.

    ATL .505
    PHI .498
    WAS .490

  28. @35, If you’re right, then keeping Camargo as a pretty-much everyday supersub can help give Dansby the time to mature at short and for Riley to break into the majors at third. I really think installing Camargo as an everyday presence at third undercuts a lot of his hidden value as the linchpin of team depth.

  29. Maybe Dansby can be the linchpin of team depth, if need be.

    Patrick Weigel pitched his first rehab today. One clean inning. Good for him.

  30. @38, to qualify for that role, the criteria seems to be a bat that is worthy of being in the lineup every day and versatility in the field around much of the diamond. Not sure Dansby qualifies for either of those things at the present time. Whereas Camargo is proving himself quite plainly.

  31. I’ll admit to being a Camargo skeptic last year, but I have come around fully this year. The key difference, I think, is his increased plate discipline and selectivity. While it is not unusual for a player to improve in that regard over the course of a career, it is really quite rare for a young player to improve so much in that area from one season to the next.

    And some never do (looking at you, Frenchy).

    In fact, the increase in walks and therefore OBP likely will make him a better hitter than our old friend Prado.

  32. @41 Between last year and this one, Camargo more than doubled his walk rate and bumped up his power output significantly while (slightly) decreasing his K rate. That’ll tend to put fans on his side!

  33. Welp, the Pirates won the trade deadline. They are officially the Trade Deadline World Champions…

  34. @43 I don’t agree – especially having given up another big time prospect now. Maybe you’re being sarcastic, I dunno, but I think Archer is a bad bet. I think AA did much better at the deadline – gave up less to get more. Plus the laser focus on improving the team in exactly the right areas made the whole better than the sum of the parts.

  35. @46 It was totally sarcasm. Look at what I said at @45.

    I’m really happy with our addition of Gausman. I think he will turn out to be a way better addition than Archer for the Pirates.

  36. Acuña just hit another leadoff homer for the third game in a row. Culberson follows with a dinger. Two pitches. Two HRs.

    Go, Braves!

  37. Ronald!! I’ve been a baseball fan for over 50 years, and I’ve never seen anything like what he’s doing right now.

  38. I have two questions: Why does the organist play “I’ve been workin on the railroad” when Dan Dietrich comes to the plate? Who is the guy in the Braves dugout who looks like WH Chief of Staff Kelly? Did I miss something in the news today and he switched jobs?

  39. Thank goodness our shortstop can hit and our official scorer calls them like he alone sees them.

  40. @62
    Snitker? He looks a bit like Gen Kelly. Never met Snit but I used to work for Kelly

  41. 1st and 3rd with no outs and not scoring is gonna cost us…….

    Camargo’s AB was really bad.

  42. I can’t believe they are talking about Moylan and Freeman as September callups…… I’d prefer they were August DFAs.

  43. How in the heck with the pitcher sacrifice bunting, and slowly jogging to first, did they not get an out? That gave the Marlins the lead too.

  44. Culberson giveth and Culberson taketh away. But when you let the pitcher on-base like that, you deserve what came next.

  45. Some of you guys must not be college football fans. The organist is playing the UGA fight song to troll Dietrich, who went to Georgia Tech. He played Rocky Top the last time Dietrich was up for some reason (I’m not familiar with any Tennessee-Ga Tech rivalries).

  46. @81 I wouldn’t be surprised if that was it! I often am impressed with the organist and choice of walk up songs for opposing players. Really creative!

  47. @81, I’m gonna pretend it’s that.

    “De Dietrich Ferroviaire (DDF) is a French manufacturer of railway rolling stock based in Reichshoffen, France.[1]”

    Yeah, that’s gotta be it. Slam dunk.

  48. Biddle has been shaky his last 2 times out, including yesterday, so let’s bring him in first during a tie game. Eye roll.

  49. Lefties 2-for-2 in this inning. Snit, for crying out loud, figure out the reverse-splits concept, please.

  50. Not sure why Biddle is out for a second inning. Fortunately Brach and Minter are fresh. Winning both games yesterday without using much of our pen was huge.

  51. The organist is Matthew Kaminski (@bravesorganist on the Twitter) and his song selections for opposing players are always fun to listen for.

    In this series I’ve noticed Aqualung (Jethro Tull lead singer Ian Anderson) for Brian Anderson and the Batman theme for JT Riddle. His Twitter lists some of the songs: TMNT theme for Rafael Ortega, Havana for Starlin Castro, and yes, Glory Glory (UGA fight song) for Dietrich.

  52. What do you say after that? The Braves play every game like it’s St. Crispian’s Day.

    Never seen anything like this. Ever. Ronito Fabuloso!

  53. Without looking it up, I’m sure Acuña’s numbers since moving to leadoff are eye popping.

  54. Also, Charlie Culberson is slugging .502. I thought before the season that he would hit like Belliard.

  55. @91 well I feel like an idiot now but I just did a google search and thats what came up lol.

  56. I knew Dietrich went to Tech, but did not recognize that as the UGA fight song. Of course, I’m from up north.

  57. @93 – Duvall has all of 20 PA’s for us, I’m not ready to write him off quite yet. Speaking of, is it notable to anyone else how little he’s played? I get that Ender’s been hot & Duvall hasn’t shown us much as of yet, but it seems a little weird to trade for somebody with his track record & then barely play him.

  58. @131, it’s higher after tonight (not that it really matters). This is a peak-Bonds stretch.

  59. @127, Don’t get me wrong, I say we go with it. The more I read up on that French railway manufacturer, the more I’m sure it’s the inspiration.

    @129, He’ll get some key pinch hits, spot starts and probably play all the time against AL teams. He’ll be okay. We’re winning without him.

    @134, Well, without the ridiculous amount of walks.

  60. On the one hand, at 67-51 the Braves are only one game behind the Chicago Cubs for best record in the NL. Impressive!

    On the other hand, the Red Sox are 86-35. Context!

  61. It’s a long season and Bad Ronald won’t hit two homers in every game, but July is emphatically over, and this team in August looks a lot like the team that made doubters like me into true believers in April, May, and June.

    Some sucker has to win the World Series every year, and to paraphrase Kinky Friedman, why the hell not us?

  62. My initial thought was to wonder if AA would acquire someone who could move the needle in the playoffs a la Verlander. So I looked at some candidates, and it doesn’t seem like there’s a slam dunk other than if Donaldson gets healthy. Sergio Romo might be a good addition too.

  63. If the Red Sox remain healthy, I can’t see anyone derailing that freight train. I do hope we get to try.

    Having said that, their SP outside of Sale is just OK… You never know.

  64. Not holding out any hope for Donaldson. I unfortunately drafted him in the 2nd round of the BJ fantasy league, and he has contributed exactly nothing except clogging up a DL spot for essentially the entire year.

  65. I can’t see anyone derailing that freight train.

    I’m sure plenty said that about the 116-win 2001 Seattle Mariners, and they got booted out in all of five games in the ALCS that year.

    MLB is a sport where the worst can beat the best on any given night. Even the Orioles have beaten the Red Sox twice this year.

  66. I’ve probably watched it a dozen times. He probably put whatever tripped him there himself! He supplied his own murder weapon!

  67. I’m definitely down for Sergio Romo. Unfortunately I also have to agree on Donaldson (who I also drafted). He was having a terrible year, then he went down with an injury that he keeps suffering setbacks from. That just all spells stay away for me.

  68. @140
    The Mariners have a better record than any team in the National League, but a worse run differential than 10 National League teams. At -23. Not sure how that’s even possible.

  69. Should we be pulling for the nats to beat the cardinals at this point? They are wild card contenders.

  70. @152 Apparently, the Mariners have some incredible record in one-run games and their closer leads the world in saves.

    Meanwhile, the Braves have near to the fewest save opportunities in the league – boom or bust.

  71. We are 2 games ahead of the Phillies, 8 games ahead of the gnats, and only 1 game behind the Cubs for best record in the NL. This is fun! Of course if we were in Boston’s division, we would be 17.5 games behind them!

  72. I have had vague ideas from time to time to learn a little Spanish. Until that is I finally watched that interview @146.

    Good Lord. His word count per minute must be at least twice that of you and I conversing in English.

    Apropos you might say. If you can think fast and then react even faster to match that thought with action then talking about it afterwards is simple. Understanding what was said, less so. It matters not of course, just watch.

  73. Not to take anything away from Acuna, but isn’t the Marlins strategy to throw a first pitch strike a little questionable? I think I would be rolling it up there at this point.

  74. Earlier in the year if you got ahead of him you could get him to chase for the K. So the book on him is probably to be aggressive to get the first strike and work him from there.

  75. @166 Isn’t it fair to assess these guys differently because, you know… they’re a totally different cast of players in the dugout… different manager even?

  76. @155

    I know I’m a little late, but no. The Nats need to be as dead as possible. If they’re already dead, kill them again just to be sure.

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