Cubs 5, Braves 4

The Cubs were in town for one game, a makeup of a May rainout. It turned out to be a tight, tense game, and a tough loss.

Folty had been dominant lately; tonight, not so much. He wasn’t dominant, but he wasn’t hit all that hard either. He gave up two in the second, aided in part by a throwing error by Ozzie and a questionable balk call.

But after Folty surrendered another run in the third, the Braves went to work. Freddie Freeman, who had not done much at all at the plate in the last week or so, drove in a run with a single. Then in the fifth he tripled in two runs, and when Zuk drove him in with a sac fly to left, the Braves took a 4-3 lead. He was able to drive in those runs because Acuña and Camargo are still hot. Ronald was 3-5 and Johan 2-3 on the night. Ronald is fabulous, of course, but I’m also liking Johan better and better. He is the real deal.

Folty had settled down, and Snit sent him out for the sixth. Did I say a moment ago that Folty wasn’t hit very hard? Well, I exaggerated. After a Schwarber hit, our old friend Tommy LaStella put the Cubbies back on top with a pinch hit two run homer. That ball was crushed. TLS has turned into a preeminent pinch hitter.

Still, it was just a one run lead with 4 innings to go. And Winkler and Jonny V would combine to pitch three perfect scoreless innings in relief. The problem was, the Cubs bullpen was also nearly perfect. Four Cubs relievers tossed four and two thirds scoreless innings, with only one hit and no walks. In the bottom of the sixth, newest Brave Lucas Duda was robbed on a deep drive to right center. Alberto Almora, who was only in the game because Heyward was injured on Freddie’s triple, made a terrific diving catch on the warning track. I think Duda could be an inspired pick up. Of course, I thought the same about Adam Duvall a month ago, so what do I know? Some have said that Adam’s problem is a lack of regular at bats since he came to Atlanta. He started tonight’s game against the lefty and went 0-4. I doubt he starts again any time soon.

In the bottom of the seventh, Camargo lined a rocket up the middle; Jesse Chavez was lucky his head didn’t go into center field with the ball. The Cubs turned to Justin Wilson, the Cookin Cajun, to face Freeman and Kakes. Joe kept saying this guy can’t throw strikes, but against Freddie and Nick he threw every pitch exactly where he wanted it. I gar-awn-tee.

In the ninth, Baez made a terrific catch on a bloop by Ender. Acuña came up in the ninth with two outs and nobody on. Still, with one swing he could have tied it up. I convinced myself that is exactly what he was going to do. He worked the count full, took a mighty swing, ……and popped to short to end the game.

Oh well, still a month to play and the Braves are in first by three games. I’m pretty pumped about being in a pennant race, and I’m pretty confident that we will still be watching the Braves in October. But it will help my spirits a lot if the Braves have a good series at home this weekend against the Bucs before the Bosox come to town on Labor Day.

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99 thoughts on “Cubs 5, Braves 4”

  1. Sept 1st reinforcements. Neck needs a day off.

    I like Snitker’s use of whoever is the hottest hitter in the #2 slot. Good move using Camargo there.

    Someone somehow needs to start hitting HRs again. Need us some big fly.

  2. Scratch that. Maybe not reinforcements on Sept 1st. Gwinnett is still in contention for a wild card playoff slot.

  3. Folty said after the game that he just “hocked a loogie.” I dunno, is that a balk?

    Maybe there is a Zapruder film.

  4. If there’s a 4-for-1 deal for the Braves to make in the offseason to acquire one elite player, then this may not make sense. But if they’re looking at DFAing 40-man guys or leaving guys off the 40-man who would get Rule V’ed anyway, why not do something like Wes Parsons or Adam McCreery for Josh Donaldson and Toronto paying his salary? Toronto would probably like to get a guy like Parsons making 4-5 starts in September just to see if they would want to DFA him themselves.

  5. I love how people are saying that we don’t have a spot for Donaldson. We just got beat by the best team in the National League, a team we’ll have to run through in the playoffs at some point, and they have 11 bonafide starters for 8 positions. On the pitching side, we ourselves have had 13 pitchers make a start for us. Figure it out. Give every outfield PA you would give to Duvall to Culberson, and give every infield PA you’d give to Culberson to Donaldson. Simple. We’ve given 160 PAs to Adam Duvall, Peter Bourjos, Danny Santana, and the ghost of Jose Bautista. Figure it out.

  6. @12 I wholeheartedly agree with this. People gotta figure it out. I see the Yankees just absorbed McCutchen onto their already crowded roster, which I already thought was a ridiculous roster. I can’t see how Donaldson would hurt but can totally see how he could help.

  7. @10 Anything can happen in the playoffs. It would only take one or two guys in the Braves lineup going on a tear to cause a big shift in the playoff picture.

  8. Peter Moylan has had a setback and has been transferred to the 60-day. So he won’t factor into September, and I would think this is it for him.

  9. If there wasn’t this sabermetric aversion to admitting that bubblegum card stats like home runs make a big impact on winning, this would be one of those John Madden “duh” comments. Like, gee, efficiently scoring runs by hitting the ball to the place where no one can catch it leads to winning? Tell me more.

  10. Not sure I’d go that far — after all, homers are one of the three components of FIP. But broadly I totally agree, there’s a whole lot of saber aversion to bubblegum stats.

    But, like, nobody who sucks has ever won 250 games. If you look at a list of guys who have won 250 games, you’re looking at a list of really great pitchers. Literally the worst guys on that list are guys like Jamie Moyer, who utterly ruled. There are other stats that tell you other information, but that list is both fun and cool, and that should be a hard requirement for any baseball statistic.

    (BTW, the Natspos just traded Ryan Madson to the Dodgers.)

  11. The Braves are 0-7 (.000) in games in which they did not score. Completely coincidentally, they didn’t have a home run in any of these games. In games in which they did score, they are 74-52, an astonishing 59% winning percentage. This 600 point gap is much wider than the 150 point HR gap. Maybe they ought to work on that first.

  12. I have a feeling Moylan’s setback may have been caused by a desire to clear a 40 man roster spot.

  13. @11 @12 You could make that deal and still do a 4-1 in the offseason without causing too much damage. I can’t believe that Parsons or McCreery would be key parts of a Realmuto deal, y’know.

    As for Donaldson, lemme turn the logic around. Why didn’t we get Daniel Murphy? AA said something about him not being a “fit” for the team. Not sure that a solid starting player’s bat isn’t a fit for any team. And I’d rather have him on the Braves’ bench rather than the Cubs starting lineup. Donaldson is still a big risk, too. Hasn’t been healthy all year. Either of these two examples includes concerns about money, money, money. Realize that we got the Royals to pay part of Duda’s salary.

    As far as the balk goes, why ever it happened, it was really the key moment in the game because two potential GB DP balls followed with no one on first. Braves could’ve won 4-3.

  14. @19 AA just keeps on getting better….. leaving his options open. If he fails to get Donaldson, he could call up Riley. And presumably McCarthy has to be allowed for at some point. I presume we may see Viz going 60 day, too, soon.

  15. Transferring him to the 60-day means he can keep rehabbing, with full access to MLB level medical and PT options. It also means he can travel with the club and attend games, so it allows him to be a pseudo-coach to younger bullpen guys, if they want him to.

  16. I’m still not quite sure why they didn’t go after Murphy. I guess they didn’t want to send Ozzie the “you kinda suck lately, we’re getting you a caddy” message.

  17. Moylan is always among the first to greet a teammate when he enters the dugout after having scored or made a big play. He was also one of the first onto the field when things got tight with the Marlins. I can see why they would want to keep him around.

    Gio to the Brew Crew.

  18. @37: Yes, but in the same way that a Yale fan can make a favorable reference to Cornell, as long as it’s at the expense of Harvard.

  19. I think Chip went to UGA. IIRC ububba had an off color story about a friend of his who knew Chip.

  20. @20–if I’m reading this stat correctly, the Braves now have a 69.3% chance of winning this game. Hit one more and it’s over 80%.

  21. Speaking of stats, I can’t believe JonathanF made such an error @22. Clearly 7 games is far too small a sample. If the Braves were scoreless in, say, 50 games, it would even out and they’d win their share of them, right?

  22. johan might end up with more homers than freddie :/
    what a good problem to have next year with riley knocking on the door

  23. With the extra catcher on the roster, I had thought he might pinch run for Zuk, as he did two nights ago. Kurt is very slow

  24. is it wrong for me to wish that albies was actually a bit hurt and had to go on the dl?
    a day off here or there is not going to fix him

  25. @53: If the Braves were scoreless in 50 games, you’d need to check your calendar, because it’s 1988. (Actually, I just checked… they were *only* shut out 17 times. Boy, did they suck.)

  26. That was a really bad pitch by Brach to Polanco. Zuk called for a fastball up, and he even stood up as Brach came to the plate, but the pitch was belt high.

    Of course the lead off walk was the real killer.

  27. We must give Freddie and Nick some days off. I think Freddie has more K’s in the last week than in the prior 4 months.

    At least the Braves have more earned runs than the Pirates.

  28. @84 Agreed…give Culberson a day or 2 at 2nd…let Duda play first…guys are struggling in big moments

  29. 2 game lead.

    Man, if only there was someone we could have acquired to try to supplement this struggling offense.

  30. I agree that the long season with a lack of days off appears to be wearing on Albies, Freddie, and Neck.

  31. If you’ll allow me to be imprecise, I will tell you the conventional 2-5 — Albies, FF5, Kakes, and Suzuki — have about a .700 OPS in August. With that said, Acuna has around a 1100 OPS and Camargo 900. But even Ender’s Second Half Resurgence has only equated to a .780 OPS this month. And the bench minus Culberson has been terrible. But the heart of the order being collectively less than mediocre is why we are where we are.

  32. @71 Yeah, our pitching additions have been doing well. Even with the leadoff walk, which was ghastly, the run given up was unearned. If we’re going to criticize the pitching for giving up 3 runs with one earned then we’re not talking about logic any more. 2 runs scored is not going to cut it. Ever.

    We all keep talking about bringing up pitching reinforcements but augmenting a strength is not going to help much.

    Several of the guys traded tonight could have helped. Donaldson. Freese. Granderson. McCutchen. It’s not that I think Duvall and Duda weren’t decent moves but they were obviously low cost moves and anything that was going to cost a significant chunk of change was never going to happen. If we can get even average numbers (average for them) out of Duvall and Duda then it might work out. But right now I see them taking ABs from Culberson who has actually hit better.

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