Rockies 5, Braves 3

Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul and the greatest singer of my lifetime, passed away today. She joined other musical royalty who had earlier passed away on this same date, Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, and Robert Johnson, the King of the Deltas Blues. It’s not just musical royalty; Babe Ruth, the Sultan of Swat, and Bela Lugosi, the King of Horror, also died on August 16. Finally, two people very significant in Atlanta history, Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone with the Wind, and John Pemberton, creator of Coca Cola, breathed their last on this date.

On the Braves front, as today broke, we were all shook up about the events of Wednesday night. I felt the need to say a little prayer that the x-rays on Ronald’s arm would be negative. This felt like a crossroads; I worried that if his injury was serious, the Braves’ remarkable run could fall apart and we’d find all our love in vain. Fortunately, his arm turned out to be OK, so much so that he was able to start Thursday’s game.

We learned this afternoon that the chain of fools extends from the hounddog Jose Urena and Don Mattingly all the way to the Commissioner’s office. Showing no respect for the integrity of the game, the MLB announced that the penalty for Urena’s perfidy on Wednesday will be a paltry six game suspension. Suspicious minds wonder what is wrong with these people. If it were up to me, Urena would be hoppin and boppin to the Jailhouse Rock.

By the way, this light suspension means that Urena will be eligible and likely to pitch when the Braves go to Miami later this month. This could be ugly; they had better think, think, about what they are trying to do to us. (thanks to JonathanF for that one)

And oh yes, the Braves did play the Rockies Thursday night. We got good Julio tonight. He went seven efficient innings, allowing only 3 hits and 2 runs, striking out 7. That should have been enough to win, because although the Braves only had 6 hits themselves (one of those a first inning single by RAJ), they scored three runs. One was on a second inning homer by Suzuki and two runs scored in the fifth on consecutive doubles by Zuk and Dans and an rbi single from Teheran. Unfortunately, Brad Brach (closing because Minter had pitched 2 games in a row) gave up three runs in the ninth and the Rockies won the game 5 to 3. To be fair to Brach, all three runs were unearned thanks to a error by Swanson allowing the first batter in the inning to reach. But Brach shouldn’t escape all blame; he then walked the second batter of the inning. The offensive hero for the Rockies was David Dahl, who had a homer earlier off Teheran, and then a big two run double in the ninth.

Tough loss for the Braves, but they still have a game and a half lead on the Phils, who managed to split a double header with the Mets despite giving up 30 (really!) runs on the day.

Three more big games with the Rockies this weekend, with Newk, Sweet Home Chicago Folty, and Anibal taking the mound.

74 thoughts on “Rockies 5, Braves 3”

  1. Excellent recap. God job, tfloyd.

    @172 from prior thread. I still think Brach does benefit from the Braves’ better defense. Still. He will have fewer meltdowns.

    But, as I’ve said, Brach has got closer stuff and ability but he can’t close reliably. My guess is it’s mental or something about hitters’ approach in the ninth vs the eighth. I dunno. But I watched it too many times in Balto for it to be a fluke.

    I don’t know what the deal is with Winkler but have to be guessing he is really gassed and may be suffering from some sort of “tired arm” that they hope will resolve itself. Our whole staff is so young (save Sanchez and Brach) or vulnerable that they are really being taxed – every one of them. The ones with the least time on their arms, I believe, are Jackson and Sobotka, which may be why we’re seeing them more, currently.

  2. I don’t think the Phillies are so good — and let’s be honest, the Gnats are out — that we have to run our roster in the ground. If they want to throw Sobotka and Jackson more to keep guys fresh, then so be it. If Freeman has had the rest to get back to the 3.34 FIP he had last year, then the fans are going to have to get over it. With that said, his FIP this year has been 4.17, which is much more respectable than what his ERA has shown.

    Whatever, it’s a loss. Dansby booted one, which is not something he does very often. Brach could have gotten out of it, but it’s not like he pitched poorly at all.

  3. 75% of a small sample in this poll say that the Braves are the division winner and have the potential to make a postseason run. Interesting.

  4. The real killer was the walk to Parra. He was so obviously trying to get a double play, but he kept on missing with breaking balls. 2-0, 3-1, then he lost him on a full count.

    Man on first and no outs, you’ve just got to be able to throw a strike.

  5. @8 Maybe that is the key. Rather than trying to overcome or rectify something that happens, just ignore it and focus on pitching i.e. throwing strikes. When you are specifically trying to throw a DP ball, you leave yourself a lot fewer options in the target you’re trying to hit.

  6. This was interesting from Longerhans at FG about Bryse:

    “The entire package (Wilson’s physicality and stuff) looks very similar to Michael Fulmer and Wilson’s delivery is much more graceful and fluid than it was when he was in high school, when scouts thought it would impact his ability to command the fastball and possibly move him to the bullpen.”

    Maybe we don’t need to trade for Fulmer but already have his clone in our org.

  7. Wonder if we could get Joe Mauer or Curtis Granderson cheap? They would both be upgrades to our bench and have cleared waivers.

  8. Boy, how time flies. I was reading a lot of Aaron Gleeman when Mauer’s deal was signed. And I always thought that deal was going to feel like it was never going to end. Well, here we are. For $184M, they got 21.6 bWAR. Oof.

  9. Flaherty on the roster is puzzling. It’s such low hanging fruit, seemingly, to upgrade that spot.

  10. @22 I don’t see him as the lowest hanging fruit. Why is Peter Moylan still around? I’d see him DFA before Flaherty. I’d see Bell and Whitley DFA’d before either of those two to call up some prospects.

  11. @22

    Up front we were told of his great versatility in the field. The moniker seems to have stuck, the prediction incontrovertible, he never plays there.

  12. Moylan is still on the DL, where he will likely remain until September. Flaherty probably sticks for a variety of reasons. Even though he hasn’t had a hit since early July, we haven’t really used him much, I suppose because we haven’t really needed him. He also was really solid in the first month and I’m sure the team hasn’t forgotten that. And he’s probably a “good clubhouse guy.” He was one of the first ones breathing down Urena’s neck when the scrum was coming together. It’s only a couple more weeks. Don’t see a pressing need to replace him at the moment.

  13. 28 — They never call up the entire 40 man roster. You might see them activate Fried, Freeman, and Moylan…and call up Touki, maybe Michael Reed, and maybe a 3rd catcher like Chris Stewart again(who would be the only 40 man roster addition). I wouldn’t anticipate anyone else who hasn’t already joined the 40 man.

  14. @28–agreed that there are several good reasons to keep Flaherty. But it still drives me crazy when it’s that time in the game for a left handed pinch hitter, and all we have is Kakes’ brother in law.
    Sure, we’ll be ok until September when we can expand the roster, but I’m worried about October. If this team is going to be competitive in the playoffs, it will be helpful to have someone in that roster spot who can do some damage in a pinch hitting role. And as we know, the October roster has to be set (absent injury) as of August 31.

  15. @29 True, but as I looked at the 40-man almost all of them have been called up (except Sanchez and Ruiz) so it makes sense to make use of as much of the 40-man as you can. I guess they try to limit it to save money. Even if they recall McCarthy, he’ll need a 40-man slot because he’s on the 60-day DL.

    There is no doubt that the third catcher will be A. Jackson not Stewart or anyone else. Jackson is eligible for the Rule 5 draft so he’ll have to be put on the 40-man anyway. Now is the time to really see what he can do anyway (especially as catcher will be an offseason target).

    But Carle, Fried, Gohara, Touissant, and Viz will be sure things (and Allard, L. Jackson, and Sobotka will be kept up). Maybe Parsons will be back too. If McCarthy can pitch, he’ll be back.

    Further, Reed and Ruiz will both be called up. Ruiz is the only other LH bat on the 40-man and the only one of interest in either GW or MS. I would wager that Peterson might get a chance too.

    And then there’s Riley, I’m not sure they’ll want to wait until ST to see if Riley has any value at the MLB level.

    To get just McCarthy and Jackson onto the 40-man will require two DFAs and Riley would be a third. I see Bell, Whitley, and Moylan as the top three on the list of potential DFAs (Flaherty would be quite a bit lower – after R. Sanchez and S. Freeman).

    So not the whole 40-man but certainly more than usual because we badly need to manpower and the whole need for the Gwinnett shuttle goes away on Sept 1st.

  16. This whole team needs to get back to being able to play against competitive teams as opposed to AAAA fodder like the Marlins. The Rockies are just playing as good as an average team plays and we’re not keeping up.

    And we badly need that 6-man rotation – maybe even a 7-man rotation with both Fried and Touki.

  17. The Rockies have a good/deep lineup. Night and day from pitching to the Marlins who only have 2 hitters you have to worry about.

  18. I know we talked endlessly about deadline moves and it’s hard to say we did bad there…but is there a lemon-law for Duvall?

  19. I said that they would add Stewart if they add a 3rd catcher because they would prefer a veteran in that role. If they want to add Jackson to the 40 man to protect him they would do that after the season and let Stewart go since he is likely retiring anyway.

  20. Jackson isn’t really worth protecting is he? I mean we can’t possibly protect all marginal prospects this offseason. If we’re in it in September we should call up some pitching pieces and cut some of the dead weight off the 40-man.

  21. Not really. I can’t imagine anyone would want to try carrying him on a major league roster all year.

  22. I really doubt the Braves call more guys up than I listed above. They don’t want to pay major league salaries to 10-15 more guys.

  23. Duvall is an offseason/spring training project. Right now, it’s just what we’ve got. Michael Reed will fix that problem on Sept 1st.

    It’d be nice if we could pick up Grandy, too.

  24. I feel the same sense of impending doom as there was after the first game of the doubleheader with Washington.

  25. If I have to choose giving a 40-man spot to Stewart or Jackson, I choose Jackson every time. Stewart has already proven he can’t hit and we don’t need a catcher just to provide a late inning replacement. At least Jackson can pummel mistake pitches. And he needs some major league time before the decision about Rule 5 needs to be made. To me, it’s a no brainer.

  26. Nothing good ever happened with a 130+ pitch performance. Nothing good ever happened. Should have never allowed that.

  27. 53 — If they call up a 3rd catcher, they’re going to pick the veteran in the last month in a pennant race, even if he can’t hit. Particularly since the other option is a converted outfielder who didn’t hit Double A pitching.

    He would only be used in case of an emergency anyway, and let Snit feel better about using Flozuki to pinch hit.

  28. Mallex Smith, who is really good at baseball, made a great catch crashing into the wall at Fenway. He’s really good.

  29. Freeman will take Allard’s spot. I thought Freeman had an option, but since he doesn’t, I’m glad they gave him a DL spot. We really don’t have the pitching depth in the minors that some think we do.

  30. Touki looks like he can add value down the stretch. Not sure that any of the other “depth” is even relevant this year.

  31. If we outrighted AJax every team in baseball would put in a claim. If we leave him off the 40-man this winter, he will be the first pick in the Rule 5 draft.

  32. Some takes:
    At best, it’s going to be a rollercoaster ride from here. Marlins sweep hubris and Rockies sweep doooooom, aka myopia, is only going to make it more rollercoaster-y, so ymmv
    – Touki benefitted from playing the Marlins just as much as the rest of the team did
    – I didn’t get the level of excitement over Duvall when we traded for him, and I don’t now. This was predictable. It wasn’t a bad trade, per se, and anyone can catch fire, but… spend nothing, gain nothing.
    – The Braves thought so much of Michael Reed that they traded for Duvall. Ponder that.
    – It’s probably a bad sign if the discussion of the team’s chances center on the 26th roster spot or lower. Our depth does not cancel out strength of schedule concerns.
    – People who are inclined to say things like “We don’t need an ace because Folty or Newcomb might become one” remain ridiculous

  33. We need to be trying to win every game. The last guy off the bench doesn’t matter, the 3rd catcher on an expanded roster doesn’t matter. They won’t see the field unless we go extras and run out of players.

    Culberson throws harder than Teheran and Allard. Looked like he had better control than half the pen. Would liked to have seen his secondary pitches though…lol.

  34. I like Snit throwing a position player in a game that’s not egregiously lost. It’s easy for a manager to do when you’re down 15+, so I like him making this decision. Can’t remember if Bobby did a lot of that.

  35. Folty has been decidedly better than Newcomb (2.6 fWAR to 1.7), so I don’t think it’s fair to lump them in.

  36. 10-2 in the 9th isn’t egregiously lost? I also like the decision, but “managing the pen during blowouts” isn’t what I want my skipper’s best skill to be. Using Minter in a 4 run game against the freaking Marlins caused a ripple effect that he’s still working out of. He’s just so bad at this.

    As far as I can remember, we’ve had very few position players pitch for us. Not the Braves Way.

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