Braves 5, Punk-Assed Bitches Swept

The first Atlanta Braves manager was Bobby Bragan. My memories of him of him are fleeting, but that’s what we have the web for. He was hired as manager by Milwaukee in 1963 before there was any notion that they’d be coming to Atlanta, but in some ways he presented a perfect story for the South’s first baseball team. He was an ardent segregationist from Birmingham who asked to be traded from the Dodgers when Jackie Robinson was being promoted, and then recanted early on after seeing Robinson play. In this, he was not nearly as famous as his fellow Southerner, Dixie Walker, or as initially supportive as Pee Wee Reese, but Bragan was a journeyman catcher-shortstop, and Walker and Reese were stars.

The reconciliation of Robinson with his Southern teammates is a story which has been told many times, but I confess it always seems to me to be one of those stories that baseball likes to tell to show that it is a progressive civilizing American institution. I am suspicious of these morally uplifting stories, but that probably says more about me than it says about the stories. I suspect we’ll never get the full truth of those days, and maybe we don’t want to. Joe Posnanski wrote up Bragan’s story and it’s… morally uplifting. But it is generally undisputed that Bragan became one of Jackie Robinson’s best friends, while also hiring Walker to head up the Braves Southern scouting operation in Atlanta. Bragan aggressively promoted the career of Maury Wills when he was a minor league manager for the Dodgers, and as near as I can figure out got along well with players, including Aaron, of course.

But in 1966, as Milo Hamilton put it, “he lost the team.” (Did he? Milo was there, but Milo is not all that reliable. The Braves only had one really bad month under Bragan, and that was back in May.) The 1966 Braves were 52-59 and languishing 12 ½ games out of first when Bragan was fired and Billy Hitchcock was brought in. Hitchcock’s first game was the 2-1 victory over the Dodgers I wrote up last week, and his decision to start Mathews against a lefty (not just a lefty, of course, but arguably the best lefty of all time) put Bragan’s platooning of Mathews to an end and served as a marker that Hitchcock was going to be different. Bragan’s last game, the night before, was a wild 10-9 win in which Dodgers starter Don Sutton got shelled for 6 runs in 1 2/3 innings and Phil Niekro won his third game of the season in relief to even his record at 3-3 when the Braves scored 4 in the bottom of the 9th.

Was 52-59 a good reflection of what that team was capable of? To the ten-year-old who was surprised whenever they lost, of course not. But the Braves had moved, without knowing it, to a home run hitter’s park with a bunch of arms that weren’t ready to pitch in a home run hitter’s park. (Home Run Factors: 1965:104 1966:131 .) Hard to say that that’s Bragan fault. On the other hand, when he was fired, the Braves’ Pythagorean record was exactly reversed, 59-52. That’s a pretty big difference, but I’ve never been one to attribute Pythagorean differences to managing. What really happened here was an unusual number of blowout wins without a corresponding set of blowout losses and a bad record in close games.

Billy Hitchcock was an Auburn graduate and a multi-sport athlete who was coaching for the Braves after a two year stint of .500 ball in Baltimore. The Braves record was much better after he took over for the rest of the year (20-8 in September), earning him the job for the 1967, but he couldn’t hold it, getting fired the last week of the 1967 season.

There’s a lot of talk here, and in baseball generally, about the quantifiable value of managers. Bobby Bragan got three MLB managerial jobs, none of them particularly successful. Does that make him a bad manager? Absolutely not. Does the evidence of the last 50 games of 1966 prove he was a bad manager? Absolutely not. Managers get too much credit for winning and too much blame for losing, except for Dusty Baker who can never get enough blame for losing. Preferring to keep baseball as a sport and not a exercise in applied social psychology, I really don’t care whether Bragan was a racist, a reformed racist, an artfully hidden pseudo-reformed racist, just a guy doing his best to keep a marginal playing career alive, or something else. Only his Maker knows for sure, when he gave his final debrief in 2010 at the age of 92.

And now to current events. There are several possible explanations for the first pitch by the Marlins José Ureña, a 97 mph fastball that caught Ronald Acuña Jr on the funny bone:

  1. Ureña is upset that there’s another guy in the league with a tilde in his name. This seems unlikely as there are lots of guys in the league with tildes in their names.
  2. Ureña needed to lower his earned runs per appearance below three, and lasting only one batter was a pretty good way to ensure he didn’t give up more than one run.
  3. Ureña had a hot date with a girl in Smyrna whose bedtime was 8 p.m.
  4. Ureña needed to punish Acuña Jr for being talented.  Talent is always unforgiveable.
  5. Ureña was tired of being ignored by Keith Hernandez
  6. Ureña is a punk-assed bitch on a team of punk-assed-bitches plus JT Realmuto and Martin Prado.

By now everyone has seen the replays. Fortunately, Ronaldinho seems fine. He stayed in to run and came out in the top of the second but didn’t appear to be badly hurt. I hope Mattingly didn’t order this, but I’m pretty sure we’ll never know.

Meanwhile, Gausman, in his third start with the Braves, did not pitch well. But he pitched well enough to get through six innings yielding only two runs. This was a classic example of skating by without his best stuff. That’s what good pitchers do.

The Marlins then had a bullpen game to pitch. While Hernandez pitched three good innings, Jarlin Garcia gave up an ABC run to Inciarte and a two-run homer to Dansby. Another couple of runs late knocked in by the same two guys completed the scoring. Venters, Brach and Minter (VBM) pitched a perfect 7-8-9. VBM stands for: Veritable Baseball Masters.  Alternate acronyms solicited.

Braves sweep the Fish, the Phillies take one from the Sawx. gNats fall below .500. Lead stays at 2. Rockies come to town. The Mets go to Philly for 4, and I’m hoping deGrom pitches all four games.

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.

181 thoughts on “Braves 5, Punk-Assed Bitches Swept”

  1. What an excellent article, including a review of the Bobby Bragan years. Hank Aaron apparently was another Bragan supporter, often crediting him with Hank’s becoming a complete player. If George Wallace could undergo a complete reversal of his attitude toward race, it doesn’t seem particularly difficult to believe that Bragan did the same
    M

  2. If you find yourself the benificiary of Keith Hernandez’s praise, something hasn’t gone right.

    Great post.

  3. Great post! Can’t wait for your next one.

    Jeff Passan on Ureña hitting Acuña:

    “Relations between the league and players are bad already, and if players are that willing to potentially sideline one of the best stories in the game right now, MLB would be well within its rights to drop a 20-game suspension on Ureña and let the union challenge it. Which it would, even though Acuña, the plunkee, and also a union member, was the one harmed. It’s a dangerous position for the union when it allows MLB to ask: Why are the fortunes of a pitcher who made an obviously terrible decision more important than those of the hitter he intentionally tried to hit and injured?”

    http://tinyurl.com/yccmb2hv

  4. By the way, if you want to make yourself mad, the Miami Herald has some incredibly unconvincing quotes from the Marlins:

    Don Mattingly:

    We talked with Jose right after the game and basically, he was saying, he knows the guy has been swinging the bat good. He was trying to get one close. He was trying to run it off in there, and that was the purpose of his pitch. That’s exactly what he told us. I had talked with him before that. It was like, ‘This kid is swinging the bat good. We’ve got to figure out how to get him out, right.’

    “What we said with Jose, is ‘I don’t want to see this kid get hit.’ He’s a great player. He’s going to be great for a long time. For us, he’s beat us up, but this is not the way want to handle that situation.”

    Jose Ureña:

    “I think for me I feel pretty bad,” Urena said. “People get upset and things like that, but I got upset too because how am I going to wait five days to go out there and make one pitch and get kicked out of the game? That don’t make sense, right?

    “Yeah that was bad because even after I hit him, I said, ‘Hey, you ok?’ And that means that I don’t want to hit him on purpose.”

    Significantly, there were NO other Marlins who went on the record, other than Brian Anderson, the Marlins rookie who was shoved by Eric Young. And his quote was: “I think that tempers just got a little hot and you could see their protective of one of their younger players and obviously he’s a great player so just trying to maintain the peace.”

    He had every opportunity to defend his pitcher, maintain the polite fiction that Don Mattingly is pushing that it was just an inside pitch that got away with him, and he refused to do it.

    https://www.miamiherald.com/sports/mlb/miami-marlins/article216680055.html

  5. I think if a pitcher is ejected for hitting someone on purpose, he ought to be suspended for however long the plunkee has to sit out, plus at least ten games. Not days. Games. And the team shouldn’t be able to replace him on the roster while he’s suspended. Bunch of bush league crap from the Fish. Oh no, this guy flipped his bat, I guess we need to intentionally hurt him. SMH.

  6. It’s bad enough that entire seasons are steered by starting pitching injuries that are far too common now. There’s no need to add to it with meaningless plunkings like last night’s where a team’s playoff hopes could be snuffed out just like that…

    Were I the head coach I’d file it away. Oh, we’d plunk at the nearest convenient time, but also again when it matters to them. I wouldn’t forget. Hypocrisy? Yes, and unfortunately I would feel a need to send a message that we protect our own. Just because I don’t like violence doesn’t me I won’t fight back…

  7. Very Bad Men (as in “bad” = “don’t mess with them”)
    Vanquishing Bats Masterfully
    Vanishing Balls Mostly
    Viscous Brain Makers
    Victorious By Mound

  8. @ #5

    Ureña’s a liar. There was nothing about his body language that indicated anything other than aggression.

  9. Nice, Hap. Yours inspires my new favorite:
    Victories Become Manifest

    Thanks, all. One thing I didn’t mention was Duvall who came in to replace RAJ. When we got him, and AAR asked for downside, I compared him to Jose Bautista, who we had already discarded. I want to stress that I was joking and there is absolutely no need for Adam Duvall to prove me right.

  10. Jonathan F
    a would be Presidential historian, def
    to question your skills in this area would be risible
    a piercing style so reminiscent of the King James Bible.

    thank you, good sir.

  11. This instance seems to appear pretty unanimous that this was way too far. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Urethra get one of, if not the, harshest suspension for beaning someone. No one will shed a tear for Urethra, so Manfred has an opportunity to curb this crap with one move, and I think he takes it. I think we’ll be a little pleasantly surprised at the punishment.

  12. Excellent recap, JonathanF. The quality of recaps just keeps getting better. Thank you.

    Who’da thunk I’d ever be a Mets fan?

    Go, Braves.

  13. It is quite rare that opinion on one incident can be so unanimous at all fronts. The two persons who say otherwise are also very logical. So it’s now up to the commissioner to do his job and we pray that RAJ is ok.

  14. Wow. More damning quotes from Urena’s teammates, via the MLB.com story.

    JP Realmuto: “It worked out terrible for our team… Guys have been used a lot, and having to come in and throw eight innings for this game, when Jose’s usually a guy you can get six or seven out of, it really taxed the ‘pen.”

    Elieser Hernandez, the guy who replaced Urena: “I didn’t expect to go in that situation, but once they put me in, I was in there to attack and get outs.”

    That’s about as far from a united front defending their teammate as you could possibly get.

    https://www.mlb.com/marlins/news/jose-urena-ejected-after-one-pitch-in-loss/c-290524798

  15. Donny Bushball ordered the code red. Manfred might be the worst commish in the history of sport, but now he has a chance to go up a notch or two in my eyes. He won’t. But one can hope, I guess.

  16. RIP Aretha. And RAJ can use her memorable lyrics today to Urena: “You better think (think) Think about what you’re trying to do to me.” It showed a lack of R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

  17. “Hey 19, that’s Aretha Franklin. She don’t remember the Queen of Soul.” [I think that song has some of the best lyrics, ever]

    Rob, surprised that you would remember. Aretha’s last hit relevance was “Freeway of Love” and that was in about 1985 or so.

    She was also great in “The Blues Brothers”, but that was 1979 or so.

  18. Anybody know who wrote “Respect” and actually recorded a lesser hit version of it 3 or 4 years before Aretha?

  19. People that watched Wilson’s game on MiLB.tv said he was quite brilliant. That he could compete at the major league level with what he’s putting out there.

    Bold.

    cliff, I’ve been on a 60’s and 70’s kick the past couple years as I’ve become disenfranchised with today’s music. I just decided to go backwards.

  20. @23

    Wasn’t it Otis Redding? Or another one of the Motown male singers? Certainly sounds better coming from Aretha.

  21. Mattingly told him to go hunting. He was aiming for the ass or ribs, but that’s the danger of throwing at them at all. The Braves play four in Miami in a week. I’m sure there’s someone in Gwinnett to call up in order to give that “start an inning with a flamethrowing reliever” thing from Tampa a try.

  22. @30

    If I had to speculate, perhaps Urethra doesn’t like it when stylish Latin players show him up. He’s umm… going to have to get over that. There are more Puig’s and Bautista’s and even Acuna’s in this day and age. He’s going to be out of baseball soon with that thought process.

  23. A positive from last night is that it showed just how cohesive this team is. Really great to see Inciarte et al so aggresive in their defense of the kid. Of course, huge props to Snit. I hope the front office can keep this group together for a long, long time.

    Also, Camargo has been talked about as a super sub a lot, but on this year’s team that man is Charlie Culberson. Plays four positions when needed, has been incredible with the bat (albeit with a high BABIP), and a good baserunner. Under control for 4 more years. Another nice AA acquisition. We’re not in first place without him.

    Another thing I can’t get over. The young players’ aggressive base running has spread to the entire team and it’s damn fun to watch.

  24. For whatever reason, that GIF didn’t load, and I somehow missed the Hoskins paragraph. Man, he’s going to have to lock it up or he’s pissing away a lot of money.

  25. The rule of thumb on hitting a guy is you use a curve ball and aim for the butt.

    97 and at the ribs is assault.

    Also, crazy Elvis and Aretha share the same death date. Good catch Remy.

  26. Yes, Otis the man.

    I was in Macon in Bankruptcy Court (when I still did bankruptcy court creditor work) about 25 years ago and the Clerk called “In re: Otis Redding, III”. I punched one of the guys I knew in Macon and he said “Yeah, it’s his son. Sorry, been on drugs, blew through a lot of money. His mother has finally stopped bailing him out and she is still set o.k.” And, about 3 blocks from there stood and stands “Otis Redding Bridge” over the Ocmulgee River.

  27. This is mostly about Urine. But the coaches or anyone else in the Braves clubhouse should have warned Acuna that it might be coming. I hope he was prepared for it. I would have been stepping in the bucket and taking the first pitch in such a situation. Urine is leading the league in HBP and he led the league last year – either crazy immature of just one of the game’s bad guys. With his history (or maybe I should say hitstory), the punishment should be severe.

    That quote of his about “I was wanting to pitch six or seven innings and how could they throw me out like that – so unfair” kind of quote was insanely childish and immature.

  28. I was reading some Cubs fans frustrations with some of Madden’s moves last week, and after reading some Braves fans’ critiques of Snit even after last night, I’m convinced that there is a contingent of every team’s fans that will not be happy with their manager if they ever disagree with their tactical decisions. And that, my friends, is a dangerous game.

  29. Dusty’s link @30 is to Fish Stripes, which is the Marlins’ SB Nation blog. So that’s an article published by the Marlins’ version of Talking Chop. And they’re more or less saying “this guy does this all the time, intentionally, and we need to dump his ass for it.”

    So yeah. It was intentional.

    In other news, this same thing happened earlier this year when Dan Straily hit Buster Posey intentionally. He got a “five game suspension” for it, which means his next start got pushed back by one friggin’ day. And his manager, Don Mattingly, got a one game suspension.

    This is culture coming directly from Don Mattingly’s clubhouse, and it needs to be addressed as such. Mattingly is the DJ Durkin of MLB and he needs to be shown a door.

  30. @19 “Manfred might be the worst commish in the history of sport”

    Roger Goodell says “hold my beer”

  31. I do agree that the team probably needs to work with Ronald on how to get out of the way of the ball — stick your butt out so you get plunked in the butt or back, and keep your hands as far away from the action as possible. Freddie and Neck can both tell him, the last thing the kid needs is a broken wrist.

  32. He did all he could do. 97 directly at your rib cage is gonna hit you. Just glad it wasn’t around the head.

    If you are gonna hit like Bonds, maybe it’s best to put on more body armor.

  33. Anything yet from the Commissioner’s Office? I’m betting there’ll be the same old-same old, but I hope to be surprised.

  34. @56, Thanks for the link. DeRo is a superstar analyst/talking head in the making. The Princeton boy has got quite a head on his shoulders. Rumors of him managing, I wonder if he should give it a shot. As for the clip, I agree with him 100% in this instance.

    EDIT: He’s from Passaic, not Princeton. I’m sure the Joisey accent is much more refined in Princeton.

  35. @59, Yeah, but see, that only works if you actually go out and beat the hell out of them every time you seem them so you can point to the scoreboard.

  36. DeRo and I went to the same university, and I’m sure no fellow student there would take kindly to any association with Princeton.

  37. John, I’d rather lose the occasional game to the Marlins than lose the moral high ground by going Hatfield-McCoy and headhunting their crappy team of stiffs.

    Adam, you and DeRo went to the best sports school in the Ivy League!

    *ducks*

  38. The way Dansby handled himself after he hit the HR was absolutely perfect. Subtle. Nuanced. I can live with that.

  39. @63, Bit of a strawman. Nobody says you throw at someone’s head.

    Further: There’s more to the “moral high ground” than being a docile, turn the other cheek baseball team. There’s also the moral issue of protecting your players and protecting your team. Announcing to other teams that they’re not going to be able to push you and yours around. That’s got a moral quality to it, too, whether you choose to recognize it or not.

    We have this conversation periodically. I understand the mentality that would say “take the high road.” But that’s not how the vast majority of baseball players think. It’s certainly not what the Penn-educated DeRosa is advocating, either. So the kinder and gentler stuff can flower and flourish on message boards like this, but it only goes so far. On the field it’s a different story.

  40. TRIVIA: Without looking, can anyone name the two (2) players who have been on the 40-man roster all season, but have not earned a day of MLB service time?

  41. A 90 mph fastball thrown at someone to send a message is worthy of retaliation by the other team. An all out 97 mph fastball that could easily break a wrist or worse is worthy of suspension by the league and possibly getting kicked off the team.

  42. For some reason I thought Rio Ruiz had played a few innings with us this year. But he hasn’t! I wouldn’t have guessed that going into the season.

  43. I know this will be unpopular, but the hard part about it is that it’s impossible to prove intent. Look, I am 99.9% sure that Urena hit Acuna intentionally, but just to play devil’s advocate, what if he dialed back for something extra just based on what Acuna has been doing and he was trying to see if he could throw the fastball by him, and it just got away? I think it’s highly unlikely but someone put together a montage of all of Urena’s first pitches and it does seem when he’s amped up he tends to release the ball early/not follow through and it runs in to righties.

  44. Furthermore, 100 percent certainty is not a burden of proof used anywhere that I’m aware of, and 90 percent isn’t a standard used outside of criminal court. So no, I’m not 100 percent sure that he did it on purpose, and neither is anyone, if they’re being honest. But no, the fact that I’m not isn’t really relevant.

  45. Throwing at the other teams’ best players could be a winning strategy. Not a very moral or gentlemanly strategy, but winning nonetheless.

    The game needs deterrents to prevent this from becoming a viable strategy. Much longer suspensions is a start.

  46. @78, True, much longer suspensions would be helpful. But the self-policing that the players themselves have figured out is the “start” that’s been long underway, and has probably kept all but the most determined Urenas from acting out on their worst impulses. Think of all the incidents like last night that we haven’t seen, because a pitcher forestalled any such notion because of the potential for repercussions from his peer group.

    Urena, though, is an idiot. So he’ll get both an in-kind reply from his peer group AND a suspension.

  47. MLB Now was just discussing the incident… I never knew I would like Bobby Valentine. He was furious at Urena – wants to ban him for life comparing pitches like that to trying to kill someone. Apparently he got hit in the face on purpose back in the day. Also Keith Hernandez was discussed. Interesting stuff.

  48. @82 And did you notice that they scored 10 UNearned runs? And featured a Joey Bats grand slam. It’s a laugher in more ways than one. The Mets might lose the 2nd half of the DH because they got too tired running the bases.

  49. Revenge on Ureña will need proper planning. He doesn’t have any children now, but wait until he has a daughter who’s about 21 or so, date her for a couple of years, marry her, have a couple of kids of your own, fast forward several years until one of those kids wants to learn baseball. Of course, grandpa can teach the kid a thing or two about pitching, especially on how to brush someone off the plate. “Hey Papa, can you show the boy what you mean and stand in the box while I pitch to you?” Let one rip as fast as you can at his head, yelling, “This one’s for Acuña!!!”

  50. And Eric Young got suspended for a game…LOL. That means that, if they just push Urena’s start back, the only team that will have somebody actually miss a game they would’ve been involved in is us! They outdid themselves with this one.

  51. I suppose my point was at 74 was that while I’d like to suspend Urena for the season, short of an admission that it was intentional, you always have to allow for the possibility that it wasn’t.

    If you are certain it was intentional then a 6 game suspension for a starting pitcher is a joke.

  52. Meanwhile, Yasiel Puig also got suspended today. He was suspended two games (both of which he would’ve started, assumedly) for being a jackass when provoked by someone else who was being a jackass, essentially. The Giants catcher weirdly took exception to Puig acting upset at himself when he fouled a meat ball to the screen and Puig pushed him a couple times. That’s worth missing two games that the player would’ve played in, while firing a baseball at 98 mph intentionally at a player and injuring him (however briefly) is worth having a start pushed back by a day.

    Were they even paying attention to what they were releasing?

  53. What a joke. Manfred blew it. That was a bona fide opportunity to push the game forward, and he didn’t stretch it even a little.

  54. @93

    Why do something actually worthwhile to push the game forward when you can inundate everybody with an avalanche of stupid-assed potential rule changes instead?

  55. @90–you don’t need an admission it was intentional. The circumstances here are proof beyond a reasonable doubt that he hit him on purpose.

    Proof of crime always requires intent, and of course the burden of proof is a criminal case is beyond a reasonable doubt. Thousands of folks are languishing behind bars today because prosecutors convinced the jury that the defendant acted with intent—even if he doesn’t admit it.

    This suspension is truly an outrage.

  56. I’m going to throw out another unpopular opinion, but I listened to the first few minutes of the Urena interview. I inferred from a lot of what he said that he may have been trying to intimidate Acuna and own the inner half. He seems to express genuine confusion that he was thrown out, that he was frustrated he was thrown out, and he seems to just say that that’s how he pitches. And objectively speaking, his fastball does have a ton of arm-side run.

    With that said, he has an ERA of 5, he has a history of pissing people off, he has bad command, and if he just simply missed, it’s because he was trying to own the inner half, his career says he can’t, and instead of missing fat over the plate, he missed on Acuna’s backside. He’s not Pedro Martinez dusting folks off the plate; he’s a stupid punk who thinks he can pitch a way he’s not skilled to, and he still probably thought he was being Billy Bad Ass by throwing at Acuna.

  57. Of course I don’t mean the suspension is an outrage; it’s the absurdly light punishment that is inexplicable.

    I guess Manfred wants to challenge Goodell for the world’s worst commissioner trophy

  58. @98–I don’t buy it, Rob. If I were urena’s lawyer that is the argument I’d make, but it doesn’t convince me. He meant to hit him. It was the fastest first pitch he’s thrown all year.

  59. Yeah, Manfred blew it. We’d still have the neighborhood play if it weren’t for that guy. Just doesn’t add up.

  60. Manfred simultaneously wants to shorten games and eliminate shifts (which help reduce scoring). And I want my cake and to eat it too.

  61. I like listening to the special guests in the booth, but it annoys me to no end that they keep the full screen video up of the booth during game action. We can hear who it is, we are here to watch a ballgame. At least shrink the booth video down and overlay it in the corner of the game action.

  62. Or maybe Manfred made the suspension just long enough to deliver Urena to Braves justice on a silver platter. Unless the Marlins intentionally hold him back, his first start would have to come against Atlanta.

  63. The difference between good and bad Julio is no mystery. With his stuff, he has no margin for error. That gopher ball was right down the middle, belt high.

  64. All of a sudden our pitchers are hitting. It’s nice for a change and Julio is our best hitting pitcher.

  65. Maybe it’s time to shuffle the lineup again. Worked pretty well when we did it last time. Move Ozzie down and let Camargo or Inciarte (or Culberson) bat second until Ozzie gets hot again.

    Maybe the best lineup is not about who the best hitters are but who the best hitters are right now……

  66. Dansby looks more comfortable at the plate, noticeably so. Ozzie can’t keep batting second, though. He just stepped in the bucket twice and fouled back a couple fastballs he should have driven.

    If Urena had anything innocent in his heart he would have done something other than glare at the man he just plunked and dare the Braves dugout to make something of it. He didn’t look remotely surprised the ball had gotten away from him.

  67. Kaminski played the Batman theme for Nolan Arenado. I had to think about that for a second, but then I remembered Christopher Nolan directed the last Batman trilogy.

  68. I’d actually rather have Julio up in a pinch-hitting situation than Ryan Flaherty right now.

    Note: That was meant more as a compliment for Julio than a dig at Flaherty, but it obviously doesn’t say much great for Flaherty.

  69. Brach would be my closer. Would love to get Julio to finish the 7th, setting us up to use Biddle, Winkler, and Brach across 2 innings.

  70. Carle has not been cleared to throw. Vizzy has begun throwing.

    Freeman threw a scoreless inning for Gwinnett with a strikeout. Ugh.

  71. And he seemed less on the verge of having everything go to hell this time than he did against Brewers.

  72. Every time I want to embrace Snit, he does something like use Luke Jackson in a 1-run game with ample options available.

  73. Now we’ll see whether Jackson can be trusted to pitch in an important spot. Here’s hoping.

  74. I think it’s pretty clear that Snitker has promoted Jackson from the last man role to the old Freeman/Moylan role. Not that that means he should be pitching in the eighth-inning of a one-run game…maybe multiple people are off tonight.

  75. Biddle pitched 3 innings in 2 days Monday and Tuesday, so I get resting him. Brach is probably being saved for the 9th.

    I don’t know if Winkler is hurt or not.

  76. 1.552 WHIP since the All-Star break, but sure, let’s roll the dice with Luke Jackson in the 8th inning of a 1-run game against a fellow playoff contender.

  77. Thankfully, he seemed extremely uninterested in giving CarGo anything to hit. Didn’t like that matchup at all. He’s gotta face Arenado now, but at least that’s righty-righty.

  78. He got two outs. Too bad there’s three in an inning.

    Haha. He did it. I get tired of Fullpack relievers.

  79. Keep your fingers crossed folks. Brach’s not as good a closer as he is a setup guy.

    Dang, an error is just the thing that’ll get Brach off his rhythm.

  80. Took me a while to figure out Aqualung for Ian Desmond. I believe it has to do with Ian Anderson being the front man for Jethro Tull. Let’s hope Brach wants to give Acuna a chance to extend his homerun streak in extra innings.

  81. @163 Brach is prone to “Folty blow-ups”. Something happens and he just loses it. He doesn’t have as much tendency to do that in non-closing situations.

  82. Nick just swung through ball four during a hit and run with Freddie Freeman down two runs. Makes no sense.

  83. In Dansby’s defense, it looked like he was off balance when he caught the ball, which left him flat-footed and unable to extend the backhand through the ball. He might have missed a hop or something, I don’t know, but that wasn’t his usual good backhand form.

  84. Welp, that didn’t go well. We need more runs. Middle of the lineup was really pitiful. Nick and Camargo looked bad all night

  85. A lot of bad at bats tonight. Dansby looked prettty good at the plate in my opinion. Chalk it up to it not being our night. I’ll try to stop going to games if this is gonna be the outcome.

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