Braves 5, Fish Zip

Our Braves are playing very good baseball lately. After a scoreless six inning outing by Sean Newcomb on Thursday night, Braves starters have given up 4 runs in the last 6 games.

When Sean Newcomb is on, major league hitters do not make good contact. Miami Marlins hitters do even worse. Newk is now 4-0 this season against the Fish with an ERA below 1.

Newk walked the first hitter he faced, and threw a bunch of pitches (I lost count) before he escaped the first inning without allowing a hit or a run. Then he walked the leadoff guy in the second, and we were all thinking here we go again. Since the first of July, Big Sean has walked about five batters per nine innings. That’s pretty much the ratio he had before this season. Fortunately, he turned it around, getting a double play grounder to get out of the second. Then he retired all but one batter over the next four innings. That one exception was the first hit he surrendered, a double by some guy named Austin Dean (who are these guys?) in the fifth. In the sixth, all of a sudden a seemingly safe five run lead got pretty uncomfortable. After a single, a retaliatory HPB (because Ronald was hit in the top of the sixth), and a base on balls, the Fish had the bases loaded with two outs. A clearly tiring Newk bore down, though, and got the aforementioned Mr. Dean to ground out weakly to second.

Newlk had not been efficient, 111 pitches through six, so his night was over. Jackson pitched a scoreless seventh, and Biddle closed it out with two scoreless innings. It’s not just the starters—this bullpen has been excellent lately.

The offense was also strong. Five runs on 12 hits, including three homers and two doubles. The Braves opened the scoring with a long two run homer by Folk Hero Fake Dansby, who started at short in lieu of Swanson (should he now be Fake Charlie?). Even more exciting than the homer was the fact that Ozzie had reached base ahead of Culberson via a base on balls!!

What more can we say about Ronald Acuña Jr.? In the leadoff at bat of the game, he hit one about 490 feet to straightaway center, but because this is Marlins Park, it was simply a noisy out. Next time up, he was determined not to make that same mistake, so in his second at bat he muscled up and hit one about 652 feet. I think it landed in Coral Gables. (I know you think I’m exaggerating, but if you did not see it live, look at the video. It might have been 691 feet.)

Not to be outdone, Ender also hit a long home run—and off a lefty! Camargo had three hits including a double, and Kakes had two hits including a double. No, Nick actually had two doubles, but thanks to the worst replay call yet, one of those didn’t count.

All in all, a very satisfying win.

I listened carefully to the broadcast, and I heard some things you may not have heard. In his post game interview, Snit was asked about Newk, and I think he said:

“He’s got a million dollar arm, and a five cent head.”

When Kelsey Wingert asked Newk about his outing in his post-game interview, Newk said:

“It feels out there. I mean, it’s a major rush. I mean, it feels radical in kind of a tubular sort of way, but most of all, it feels out there.”

During the broadcast, we heard this exchange:
Chip: He walked 18.
Joe: New league record!
Chip: Struck out 18.
Joe: Another new league record! In addition he hit the sportswriter, the public address announcer, the mascot twice…
Chip: Also new league records! But, Joe, this guy’s got some serious sh_t.

At one point, the catcher went to the mound and this exchange was overheard:
Tyler “Crush” Flowers: You gotta play this game with fear and arrogance.
Newk: Right. Fear and ignorance.
Crush: [exasperated] No. You hayseed. It’s arrogance not ‘ignorance.’

Crush: You got a gift. When you were a baby, the Gods reached down and turned your left arm into a thunderbolt. You got a Hall-of-Fame arm, but you’re pissing it away.
Newk: I ain’t pissing nothing away. I got a Porsche already; I got a 911 with a quadrophonic Blaupunkt.

Actually, although our own Newk used to remind me of the original Newk LaLoosh, he has clearly matured as a pitcher. By the way, this summer marks the thirtieth anniversary of the release of Bull Durham. We should do a poll–best baseball movie ever?

Still with a 3 game lead over the Phillies, we play three more with the Fish. Let’s crush them. Folty goes Friday.

122 thoughts on “Braves 5, Fish Zip”

  1. I’ll get that poll going in the offseason. Good idea, Tfloyd.

    Acuna is ahead of Soto in fWAR, and he’s ahead of him in most bubble game card stats. And since Acuna’s team will probably make the playoffs and Soto’s won’t, then I think Acuna gets it. Braves might have MVP and ROY.

  2. Thanks t. I always wondered how many pitches Nuke threw in that 18 strikeout, 18 walk classic? I don’t think the boys in A ball are going that kind of distance any more.

  3. I’m good for about one autocorrect a day.

    Charlie Culberson is just fantastic. We’ve gone from wondering if he’ll crack the roster to being happy he has one more year of team control.

  4. Florida Chickens…or Florida Cowards? Can’t go wrong with either.

    Good that we are sending them a message. I like Newk.

  5. OMG, thanks tfloyd, I can’t stop laughing. Bull Durham is the best baseball movie ever.

    You know we have so many games in a row, we might need a rainout. Make it happen! Do it in the makeup against the Cubs where they have to fly into Atlanta for one game and fly out again – let it be rained out.

  6. It’s so funny. We all thought that Acuna was a lock for consensus ROY and then the wait to call him up and the injury and the ASB and then all of a sudden…. POW…. there it is – back to where we thought we’d be with Ronald as consensus ROY. If he gets 3 WAR this year with all the shenanigans in the 1st half, can you imagine what he might have been able to do with a full freaking year???

  7. There’s been a lot of great baseball movies made, but I have to go with The Sandlot. Looking forward to the offseason poll (tournament?).

  8. It’s really hard to lose when the other team doesn’t score. 2 runs allowed in 4 games is what good teams do.

    And, sorry, Field of Dreams.

    Really, anything but The Slugger’s Wife.

  9. Touki with a great game today as well. 7IP, 3H, 1BB, 8K – no runs allowed.
    Riley keeps raking: 2 for 3 with another HR – thats 3 HR in his last six games.
    Both will be able to help in September.

  10. Major League was a pretty funny movie. I may be in the minority, but I also liked The Rookie with Dennis Quaid.

    If we can pick up 2 more games on the Phillies over the next 5 games, I think we’ve won the division.

  11. Thank you, tfloyd. Baseball movies improved with cinemalogical advances. Back when we made shadow puppets on the screen while the proprietors changed the reel, I thought Pride of the Yankees was the best. Bang the Drum Slowly jerked as many years, but finally my vote too goes to Bull Durham.

    There has been a passel of baseball flicks.

    Braves have already won as many games as last year.

  12. Does anyone remember The Stratton Story, starring Jimmy Stewart? You’ll never look at bunting the same way again. Hands down, Bull Durham is the best. Who wouldn’t want a girlfriend with that kind of baseball knowledge?

  13. Thank you, Remy. Braves, ump and Anderson handled it well, as did Harold and MLB.com.

    Don’t throw at our boy, or next time there will be blood.

  14. Too bad the MLB Network didn’t stick around long enough to see how Biddle handled Acuña’s second HBP. Absolutely beautiful.

  15. If they plunk Acuna one more time… they ought to just throw the entire team out of the game and have them forfeit the rest of their games with the Braves.

  16. From the category of things that matter to me that probably shouldn’t, # times a team has been on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball (includes the next 3 scheduled games, final 3 Sundays TBD):

    NYY 6
    HOU 5
    WAS 5
    CHC 5
    BOS 4
    NYM 4
    STL 3
    LAD 3
    LAA 3
    PHI 2
    SFG 2
    CLE 1
    ARI 1
    TEX 1
    BAL 1
    ATL 0!!!

    With a team this fun, ESPN is really missing the boat. Assuming they have the capability, the Sept 23rd game vs PHI would be a good flex.

  17. @24 That’s what I’m thinking. I’ve got a few offseason series planned, and that’s a good one.

  18. @29

    What about MLB Network and Fox? I feel like we’ve been under-broadcasted by all of the national broadcasts.

  19. Mine is Major League: Back to the Minors. Just kidding.

    There are so many good baseball movies. I think we could do a field of 16 and we would have a good tournament. My 16-movie field would be Angels in the Outfield, Rookie of the Year, Little Big League, For the Love of the Game, The Sandlot, 42, Field of Dreams, Bull Durham, The Natural, A League of Their Own, Major League, Moneyball, Eight Men Out, The Rookie, Fever Pitch, Major League 2. Boom, 16.

  20. @35

    I have to be honest, that just melted my heart a little. Seeing some of the X’s and O’s analytics turn up strong for Snit while also a non-Braves fan acknowledging the intangibles make me really happy for him. The thing about Snit, too, is that he seems to be a bit of an “every man”. It’s easy for us to relate to him. He’s worked for the same team for a very long time. He’s worked in an industry where it’s possible to become a multi-millionaire, and he lives a relatively modest lifestyle from what I stalked on the internet, and he seems to be a legitimately good guy who is getting the best out of the players.

    Do I want him back next year?

    …..

    ….

    ….

    Yes?

  21. I can’t think of a reason why I don’t want Snit to be back for one or two or even three years. This is his team.

  22. I’m a Snit fan, for pretty much the same reasons Slugworth’s link states. Just because I like him, I hope Snit wins MOY.

  23. Re: Snitker

    I said it before: I hope he’s still the manager of the Braves in 2028, preferably because this team wins and wins a lot.

    My opinion is that the Braves have already made the important managerial decision (signing AA), and provided this is the winning formula for this organization, they should be concerned with keeping it all together.

  24. I imagine people saw the Snitker interview after Acuna first got beaned where Snit was momentarily unable to summon words and eventually offered something like, “He’s like my kid.”

    Apart from stuff like that, IMO Snitker has established his value to the point where you’d want to give him at least one playoff appearance, maybe two, to show that he’s in fact not up to the task of managing a strong team. He doesn’t make many mistakes compared to other managers, seems to work well with the front office, and obviously has the team playing to potential.

  25. Well, he’s in his 60’s, he’s been making a decent paycheck for a long time, and he’s now making probably at least $500K a year (could not find his salary online). All things considered, should he so choose, he could probably afford a little more, I’d say.

  26. @35 Great story. Excellent analysis of Snitker. We still get to complain when he makes a move we don’t like but that doesn’t influence our opinion about whether he needs to be brought back or not. Whatever I may have said in the past, I am converted into a Snitker supporter (maybe not a “fan” but a supporter).

    We may never hear what actually goes on in the dugout but I wonder how much difference the staff turnover last winter made. Is Weiss a “Snitker-whisperer”? Wash, EY, Hernandez, etc…. I think most of these guys are ones that Snitker has not worked with before so getting to know everyone and making the staff cohesive has got to be a strength, too.

  27. In the last 30 days, of course, Ronald leads the Braves in HRs. Second is….. Charlie. Culberson. Cult Hero.

  28. @45 I’m mostly inclined to believe Walt Weiss is a smart baseball guy if only because the man was a walk machine before it was super popular.

    Similarly, I hope the Braves rope Mark Derosa into the organization somewhere along the way.

  29. I could sound like a big homer and product of my age group, but I would think Walt Weiss, Eric Young Jr, Ron Washington, and Kevin Seitzer are huge value adds to the roster. The way they played seems to show up in the metrics the article at @35 described. I like the way they put it: smart baseball.

  30. 32-Since you asked, these are the tallies for nationally televised game according to this source (including games scheduled to be televised)

    http://www.espn.com/mlb/television

    NYY 31
    BOS 26
    CHC 22
    LAD 20
    LAA 18
    STL 17
    WAS 16
    HOU 16
    CLE 15
    MIN 9
    ARI 9
    NYM 8
    MIL 8
    COL 8
    TBR 8
    KCR 8
    OAK 8
    TEX 8
    PHI 7
    ATL 7
    BAL 6
    SFG 6
    MIA 5
    DET 5
    CHW 5
    PIT 4
    TOR 4
    SEA 4
    SDP 3
    CIN 3

  31. Wasn’t hard, and I was curious. Just had to search the page for each team name and it gave you total number of hits on the search.

    Crazy we’ve been on less often than the Twins. Also prob means we’d get the 1PM starts if we made the playoffs, unless somehow we were facing the Cubs or Dodgers.

  32. I don’t read anything into the number of national broadcasts this year. Practically no one saw the Braves coming, and even at the all-star break there were still doubters who were more ready to embrace the Phillies as the defacto division favorites after the way July went.

    My feels are that the Braves could emerge as the NL favorites with a strong finish. They’re kinda neck and neck with the Cubs right now.

  33. I loved the recap, especially your reports of mound conversations. Very enlightening. Keep them coming.

  34. Rob, it is just barely possible that wonderful baseball movies were made before the 1980’s. Even some in (gasp) black and white!

    Fear Strikes Out, Bad News Bears (1976 original), It Happens Every Spring, the Jackie Robinson Story, Pride of the Yankees and the best ever baseball film (I’m partial to 50’s musicals) Damn Yankees should all be there. 32 slot tourney?

  35. I think 16 is the max. It’ll be hard to get to 32.

    But yes, my list was very contemporary.

    What should be removed from my list and what should go in? Take out 42 or have two Jackie Robinson movies? Fear Strikes Out definitely belongs.

  36. Ballplayer: Pelotero, Sugar, 61* would be good adds to the list along with the others mentioned earlier in the thread.

  37. A field of 32:
    Angels in the Outfield
    Rookie of the Year
    Little Big League
    For the Love of the Game
    The Sandlot
    42
    Field of Dreams
    Bull Durham
    The Natural
    A League of Their Own
    Major League
    Moneyball
    Eight Men Out
    The Rookie
    Fever Pitch
    Major League 2
    Fear Strikes Out
    Bad News Bears (1976 original)
    It Happens Every Spring
    the Jackie Robinson Story
    Pride of the Yankees
    Damn Yankees
    Cobb
    Bingo Long etc
    Alibi Ike
    61
    Ballplayer: Pelotero
    Sugar
    Bang the Drum Slowly
    The Naughty Nineties
    The Fan
    Brewster’s Millions

  38. Not having ever seen Major League 2, I am going to go out on a limb and say that Major League 2 could go.

  39. in the Documentary category, in addition to Ballplayer: Pelotero, I’ve also recently enjoyed The Battered Bastards of Baseball (about the Portland Mavericks) and No No: A Dockumentary (on Dock Ellis). The latter especially ends up being about way more than just the LSD-lore.

  40. When Fredi was hired Mac wrote “Fredi, it seems to me, has Bobby’s weaknesses with tactical managing (that is, lots of bunts, awkward pinch-hitting decisions that blow an extra player, heavy use of a few relievers) without Bobby’s strengths as a leader of men.”

    I think Snitker makes some questionable tactical decisions but the players genuinely seem to love him. I’ll take it.

    He also seems willing to take direction from the front office on shifts, lineup construction, etc.

  41. The Battered Bastards of Baseball, on Netflix, is a good watch. It’s a documentary about the Portland Mavericks, an independent minor league team in the 70s, owned by Kurt Russell’s dad.

    Edit: That’s what I get for not refreshing.

  42. The Battered Bastards of Baseball is very good.

    Bang the Drum Slowly is overlooked. Pride of the Yankees is an all timer.

    For Love of the Game would be good w/o the love story.

  43. Not having ever seen Major League 2, I am going to go out on a limb and say that Major League 2 could go.

    *record scratch*

    @68, McCutchen indeed made it through waivers.

  44. We’ve been on national TV more in the second half. (I know because anytime we are, I watch that broadcast instead of Chip and Joe.) The Fox/FS1 broadcasts are, I believe, set in stone before the season starts (at least up until September), and we’ve been on a handful of those. ESPN’s picked us up a couple times in the second half (though not on Sunday night), as has TBS. (We’ve also had two games on Facebook Watch, which probably counts, but I’m not sure it should be a barometer of our national profile or anything.)

    Also, most of the MLB Network games are simulcasts, and therefore don’t count, but it seems like we’ve been on that more starting around June, as well, just going from how often our games have been advertised there when I’ve been watching the channel.

  45. Trouble with the curve anyone?

    Kidding. Obviously.

    This is an awesome thread by the way following a beautiful recap.

    I have turned into a Snit fan after his display when Acuna got hit. Also, remember Neck challenging John Hart after giving Snit shit. The team loves playing for him – that’s worth a few of wins per season.

  46. Yeah, and he started standing up to get in front of Anderson before the ball even hit him. That was absolutely intentional, and anybody who says otherwise (though I don’t think I’ve seen anyone suggest this so far) is being a simpleton.

  47. The the point Mac was making in the quoted arcana above, Fredi never grew into the “leader of men” role. Snitker came fully prepped with that ability from his time in the minors. He’s been teaching young men the game and how to carry themselves as professionals for decades. That he was open to taking in the new thinking from the front offices, once it was presented to him as a plan rather than an ultimatum, is a boon to his respect as well.

  48. ML2 is not nearly as good as ML1. I wouldn’t have ML2 in even a field of 32, to be honest.

    My wife will shoot me if I had to watch every movie that I haven’t already seen in a field of 32, so for this to get off the ground, I would need some people to write some ditties on some of these movies I’ve not seen.

    I like snowshine’s list. I see some getting bounced easily, but there’s some Cinderellas on that list. I could see a cinematic VCU making a run.

    We’ll also have an update of the 44 greatest Braves and 64 worst (oh, have we had some really come on this decade!). Not sure if I’ve already mentioned that.

  49. Has anyone besides me seen Everybody Wants Some? It’s about a college baseball team, and while the baseball side of things is somewhat secondary, it’s a pretty interesting study of how stupidly competitive you have to be to even play college sports. It’s not Bull Durham but it is absolutely better than Major League 2, which is admittedly a very low bar.

  50. Hey now, ML2 is awesomely bad. I can’t fathom being Very Online as a baseball fan and not having seen it. The sheer number of missed inside jokes would be mind-boggling.

  51. @81

    I saw “Everybody Wants Some!!” and liked it a lot. It’s essentially “Dazed and Confused” except it’s following a college baseball team for a weekend (the same director made both).

    I’d have to think about where I’d place it in the list of 32 that snowshine posted above, but just at a glance, it’s miles better than ML2 and The Fan, and I think I’d definitely put it above the sort of young adult baseball movies (Angels In the Outfield, ROY, Little Big League).

    Of course, some people really hate “Dazed and Confused,” so YMMV.

  52. I feel bad that I don’t care more about baseball movies.

    Still, I like them way more than soccer/futball.

  53. @67 Bang the Drum Slowly may not be the best, but it’s pretty good, especially the filming of the scenes on the diamond.

  54. What should the hypothetical ’90’s version of “Dazed and Confused” and “Everybody Wants Some!!” be called?

  55. What should the hypothetical, set in the ’90’s, version of “Dazed and Confused” and “Everybody Wants Some!!” be called?

  56. I don’t think anyone should be ashamed of liking Mr. Baseball. I think I’ve mentioned here that I had once named a cat Eephus; I named its litter mate Shuuto.

    Mr. 3000 is also fine.

    I am ashamed to admit that I enjoy Beer League.

  57. And Foltzie can pitch. Hope he can go deep. As few pitches as he’s thrown so far, he’s got a good shot.

  58. If anyone did get abducted, look around some and see if you can find the Braves’ ability to score. It’s MIA, too.

  59. Folty is now 17th in all of ball in fWAR. He is about 6 more productive pitches in the game from being an Ace(TM).

    That’s copyrighted, by the way. Don’t even think about it.

  60. Throw a damn strike. Why bother hitting the ball when you can get a base and a run handed to you on a silver platter?

  61. Credit where it’s due.

    Guerrero/Steckenrider.

    Might suggest we have not seen this season a more dynamic back-to-back pairing out of the pen from two names we were only vaguely aware of. 100 routine, 103 best plus control.

    For the first time perhaps Acuna totally overmatched, last at bat. 3 pitches, 3 swings, no contact, wow. It puts some of our guys back in context a bit.

    And. You can’t win them all.

  62. from two names we were only vaguely aware of

    Steckenrider was in demand all year on the trade market. Guerrero was the guy who was on the mound at the end of the six-run comeback game.

  63. @116 @117 I would suggest that Guerrero was more effective coming behind someone that could barely crack 90. Same could be true of Sobotka relieving Julio at some point. Steckenrider (Phils/Nats/Brewers and we scored 10 runs off him in three consecutive appearances) and Conley (Nats/Phils and we scored 5 on him) had struggled recently against some of our favorite teams, but we couldn’t touch them.

    I know you have to lose some games but this one could have been a big win with the Phils losing. I would still like to see a 5-6 game lead going into the final 7 against the Phils. Winning this game would have given us a 4 game lead.

  64. The main difference from those prior games that I can see is that Freddie did a lot of damage (and Nick against Steckenrider and Acuna against Conley). Our main guys are not hitting right now (excepting Acuna) all up and down the lineup. We have to get back in the groove to continue our surge. The pitching has really been fantastic.

  65. Tonight’s another good opportunity with Aaron Sanchez on the mound for the Jays and Wheeler on the mound for the Mets and Anibal going for us. Have to get a few hits and win.

  66. @117

    then change the ‘we’ to ‘I’ !

    Ultimately, we speak for ourselves. Correction aptly supplied, in this case by your good self. Dialogue thus created which is never a bad thing.

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