Arizona 5, Atlanta 3

So, the Braves are 1-1 in this series after having faced Arizona’s top two starters. If you had told me Wednesday night that would happen I would’ve taken it in a heartbeat and run. So, not DOOOooomed?

Kevin Gausman had his first bad start for the Braves, going only 4 2/3 innings, giving up 4 hits and 4 walks which led to 4 Arizona runs. A first inning solo shot to Paul Goldschmidt, and third inning RBI singles to David Peralta and Daniel Descalso. Johan Camargo hit his 17th homer in the top of the 3rd for Atlanta’s only tally off Patrick Corbin.

Ender Inciarte was tossed in the 4th for arguing balls and strikes, as the umpire’s strike zone so confused him he thought it was possible a ball in the dirt would be called a strike. Adam Dyvall came on to replace him and would, of course, strike out in a critical spot in the 8th.

Speaking of the 8th, Ronald Acuna Jr led off with a single and then stole second. Camargo doubled him home. After Freddie Freeman grounded out to the pitcher, Nick Markakis and Tyler Flowers reached on consecutive infield singles, and the Braves showed us how you can have a man on second with one out, and after two consecutive hits, get to a bases loaded one out situation. Ozzie Albies ‘drove in’ Camargo by making contact and putting pressure on the defense as everyone was safe, but Duvall, needing only a sac fly, struck out.

Kyle Wright surrendered the final run in the 8th, when working his second inning, he loaded the bases with no outs. Luke Jackson came in and surrendered only one run – on a sac fly (take note Adam).

So, with Aaron Nola beating the Mets, the Braves are 2.5 in front with Julio Teheran going tonight against Clay Buchholz. Let’s get ’em tonight.

145 thoughts on “Arizona 5, Atlanta 3”

  1. Thanks, Painter.

    You know, I hope Austin Riley does turn out to be a better hitter than Camargo. If so we’ve got a perennial all star.

    Really, Camargo’s development as a hitter this season is perhaps the most pleasant surprise in a season of surprises. His improved power and plate discipline are pretty remarkable.

  2. I understand wanting to get Duvall ready for the playoffs and I haven’t given up on him long term, but I’ve given up on him for this year. I say give Reed a shot to start against lefties. If he provides any value at all, take Duvall off the roster for the playoffs.

  3. @1

    There are still a few who persist in the fantasy that third must be reserved for Riley and Camargo allowed to play his ‘natural’ role of super sub. NO.

    Left or Right field, there is need there next year. Riley, spend the winter at Outfield School. We have the best infield around and Camargo has more than won the right to play there, every day. We should be very grateful about that.

  4. Adam Duvall
    there seems no point to it all
    incompetence at quite another level
    might we suggest a Faustian Deal with the Devil.

  5. Thanks Seat.

    Duvall has always been a low percentage guy. If he plays every day, he’ll hit a homer a week, and that’s the deal. If he’s the tying run or less, he might get you back in a ball game. He’s not the guy you want trying to drive in a runner from 2nd or 3rd.

    Someone (Adam?) made a good point the other day. There aren’t enough games left to wait on anyone to bounce back to some perceived expected level. At this point in the season, we need to accept everyone for what they’ve shown.

  6. @4 There are many who persist because Riley projects to be better than Camargo. Take a look at some statistics. Would you have oplayed Camargo over Donaldson when he fist came up in OAK? Riley’s stats are better than Donaldson’s. Would you play Vlad Jr. over Camargo if he were here instead of Riley? No doubt, huh.

    It would be much better to set Riley up as the starter and let Camargo (who has already played some OF) play where he is most needed. If we sign someone like Harper, then you still have to be concerned if Ender can be better. Your best OF might be Camargo, Acuna, Harper. What of any one of our infielders gets injured? Would you rather have Camargo or Culberson filling in as a starter?

    Every championship team needs to have starter caliber players (at least one or two) on the bench or rotating in through multiple positions. Camargo is capable of that while Riley is more position limited.

    Try assuming that Riley will be another Donaldson or Suarez and then evaluate your position. Riley is going to be younger than any of the best 3B when he hits the majors. Just 2 years older than Machado was. Riley has every reason to be as good as Machado or Senzel.

  7. What happened to Reed?

    Also, @4, agree fully on Camargo. With the Braves focus on defense and what looks like an upward trajectory offensively, he’s the perfect 3rd baseman going forward. I’m also good with Culberson as the super sub. If you have to give Riley reps at 3rd, let Camargo play short every 2 weeks or so and give Swanson some time off.

  8. I think Camargo can provide above average defense at any position and 3rd base is a great place for him. I would expect Riley can provide average defense at either 3rd base or left field. I would prefer average defense in left. I was very skeptical of Camargo coming into the year, but if he keeps on improving he may not be too far from Donaldson in a few years.

  9. @9

    very concerned.

    As stated earlier Goldy and he were poles apart for production last night and that could easily be interpreted as the reason for our loss. On its own.

    Duvall and Gaus a poor second.

  10. Snit had Dansby and Duvall bat against a submarining righty with the game on the line.

    I guess this is consistent with having Moylan face a few lefties in a row.

    We’re not talented enough to be dumb too.

  11. This is just a really bad time for so much of the offense to go ice cold.

    wRC+ last 7 days:

    Kurt – 239
    Nick – 169
    Johan – 167
    Dansby – 154
    Acuna – 140
    Ozzie – 85
    Flowers – 64
    Freddie – 57
    Ender – 50
    Duda – 46
    Culberson (same amount of PAs as Kurt) – -77
    Duvall/Adams/Reed/Rivera (same PAs as Duda) – literally -100

    If you put the bench together (Culberson, Duda, those other 4 names), you’re talking a starter’s worth of PAs resulting in almost zero run production. No hits, no walks, tons of strike outs, just a big pile of nothing. Those guys’ PAs put together exceed Ozzie’s, Dansby’s, and Freddie’s amount of PAs within the same time. Between Ender, Freddie, the bench, and the pitcher, we have basically 4 hitters hitting like the pitcher in 9 spots.

    What is Snitker to do? Gotta play better, guys.

  12. @13 Agree completely. Need to rest Freddie considerably. I am actually concerned about his vision; I wonder if it’s changed subtly since the Lasik. I see him swinging and missing at pitches he normally crushes in his hot zones. I don’t think that’s just being tired or in a slump.

  13. @15 What Snit can do is rearrange the lineup around the hot hitters. Acuna followed by Camargo is good, but Freddie has to be demoted until he’s hitting or walking like normal again. Nick is obviously back and he’d make a great #3 right now. Then maybe Ozzie and after that Freddie then Ender. Ender can serve as leadoff for the lower part of the order. Or Ozzie – Kurt – Freddie. Flowers should be after Ender. Maybe Dansby in ninth after the pitcher. Unfortunately, Dansby hasn’t looked great since the beaning.

    At any rate, use the hotter hitters to generate some potential rallies and then the others might pick it up. And five hot hitters should be plenty to score some runs.

  14. @15 Snit could also play more small ball. If Acuna and Camargo are on 1st and 2nd with no outs, have Freddie bunt them over and let Nick drive them in. Any time we have a runner on 2nd and no outs, you have to get him over to 3rd. If you can’t get the hitter to move them over then steal 3rd. We unquestionably wasted 2-3 runs last night by not moving runners over and getting them in. We do not have the power potential to eschew small ball completely.

    Actually, four bunts from Freddie would have been better than three K’s and a grounder back to the mound.

  15. I don’t have a problem believing it’s possible that Austin Riley will be good, or better than Camargo, or even better than Camargo at 3B because of his bat. But don’t overplay your hand.

    There are many who persist because Riley projects to be better than Camargo.

    Dansby Swanson also projected to be better than Camargo.

    Riley’s stats are better than Donaldson’s.

    At age 21, Donaldson split time in rookie and A ball — he went to Auburn — where he hit .335 / .460 / . 590 in 215 plate appearances. You’d want a bigger sample, but he walked more than he struck out.

    Obviously, Riley is playing at AAA at age 21, which is among the best arguments you could make for him. But if we’re talking just stats, Riley had the inferior season at .294 / .360 / .522 across three levels. He’s sporting nearly a 30% K rate in AAA, which doesn’t bode well.

    I don’t see where anyone — except our anonymous scout calling Riley the best 3B prospect he’s ever seen — is assuming Riley’s going to be Machado-like.

    I don’t want to hear about how he’s the third best 3B prospect or whatever. Not all third-best-3B prospects are created equal. Fangraphs put a 70 on Vlad Jr., a 60 on Senzel, and a 55 on Riley.

    Who of Camargo or Riley ends up in the outfield seems like the dumbest thing anyone could possibly argue about. It’s like the Dansby vs Camargo arguments on here last offseason, when there was a position open for both of them.

  16. There’s no way they’ll move Freddie out of the 3-hole. He’s still Freddie Freeman, and he’s still one game away from busting out. I could have seen Nick being moved out of the clean-up spot if he had continued to struggle, but Professional Nick Whisperer Ryan Flaherty fixed that. So I think they are putting their best hitters in the front of the lineup when you go Acuna/Camargo/Freddie/Nick/Kurt. It’s Ender/Ozzie/Dansby/Pitcher that’s really killing us.

  17. @21 I’d argue that Freddie is not Freddie right now. If you look at his actual statistical performance then that would be obvious. The one game where they rested Freddie, the offense came alive. If you really plan on keeping Freddie at #3, he better be bunting more often, because he is 75% swing and miss right now. Extremely uncharacteristic.

    I would hat eto limp to the finish line saying, “well, we had to bat Freddie 3rd. Where else could we bat him? And he has to play every day because he’s Freddie.”

  18. @20 That is a statistically false comparison. Riley’s stats are better than Donaldson’s at AAA. Riley’s stats at Rookie/A ball are equivalent or better than Donaldson’s. The fact that Riley is doing it at each stage at a younger age than Donaldson is what is significant in addition to his better performance.

    Donaldson didn’t get significant time in the majors until he was 26. Riley will likely spend a lot of time as a starter about a month after his 22nd birthday.

    There is 100% no doubt (assuming no trade and no injury) that Riley will be at 3B next year after his service time is manipulated.

  19. Riley’s stats are better than Donaldson’s at AAA. Riley’s stats at Rookie/A ball are equivalent or better than Donaldson’s.

    Again, AAA stats aren’t destiny. Donaldson hit .238 / .336 / .476 at AAA at age 24. Are you arguing that we should expect every single player with a better statline than that at AAA to be better than Josh Donaldson? Are they all going to win an MVP award and get to 35 WAR?

    Most people sort minor league players for comparison by age first, not by level. Which is why this is the best argument:

    The fact that Riley is doing it at each stage at a younger age than Donaldson is what is significant

    It’s like the Realmuto thing. Realmuto can be a good trade target without having to advocate for a Shelby Milleresque trade to acquire him at all costs. There are probably pathways to a championship that don’t go through Realmuto. Likewise, Austin Riley is going to be a major leaguer and more than likely a good one for years without him having to be better than Josh Donaldson, Vlad Jr., Manny Machado, or even Camargo. It’s OK to allow for a little uncertainty.

  20. Player A at AAA at age 21: .282 / .346 / .464

    Player B at AAA at age 21: .275 /.372 / .506

    Player A is of course Austin Riley.

    Somehow, I had no idea that Player B passed away. They’re both touted 3B prospects.

  21. If AA is building a team around infield defense and ground ball pitchers, then Camargo stays at 3rd. Deal Riley. There’s no guarantee with any prospect. He’s probably going to be good, but hey, Marte.

    Or if infield defense is not the big plan, AA puts Riley at 3rd, Camargo at SS, and deals Swanson.

    Camargo is too good to be a supersub. He also hasn’t reached his ceiling.

  22. Sometimes I forget how frustrating it used to be to watch the Braves. Then I watch Georgia Tech play football and it all comes back to me.

  23. The Braves need about 40 more team HRs next year to be championship caliber with an elite offense. Hopefully, 20 more will come from Nick’s replacement (e.g. Harper), 10 more will come from Riley at 3B, and another 10 could come from Realmuto over Suzuki at catcher. Maybe Camargo and Duvall could contribute some too when they rotate in for Ender or other infielders (or as injury subs). That is where this offense needs to go.

    Add that to having five stable starters and our current bullpen plus O’Day should be able to vault us to the next level.

  24. Roger, I’m not being sarcastic here, but do you have inside information? 100% no doubt that Riley will play 3rd next year is a bold statement.

  25. Seeing Harper’s name reminds me we should run a friendly competition on the board regarding his new contract

    To whom?

    Total $

    Winner to be addressed as Sir for 30 days after it’s over.

    I am quietly confident.

    Total $ is the top prize,

    No rush, but don’t leave it too late.

    Wait until at lease we’ve won the WS.

    Comments?

  26. @31 Camargo looks like a 25 HR guy to me. I think that’s pretty optimistic to think Riley is hitting 35 next year.

  27. Acuna and Camargo getting us off to a great start. Let’s see how many times Freddie strikes out tonight.

    Hey, he moved Camargo over. Already better than last night.

    LOL, Nick is listening to me.

    2 runs on nine pitches. I guess it doesn’t take all that many pitches to score.

    Mets up 6-0 on Phils. The night is starting well.

  28. C’Mon, Julio, you got 2 strikes, why does it have to end in a walk?

    At least he’s showing up at 90 on his FB.

  29. Roger, the number of rookies who hit 30 in all of baseball history is a short list. Camargo missed the first month of the season and is at 17 now.

  30. @45 I guess we’ll see. I think Riley will belong on some short lists. I also expect him to take some time to settle in. But he could easily have the same kind of hot streak Acuna is now on. That’s what he did at Gwinnett over the last month.

  31. @44 We have 2 hits along with three D’Back errors for 2 runs and they have 0 hits and 1 Braves error for one run. Julio could throw a no-hitter and lose this game.

    And there’s another walk. Why do they ever need to get a hit?

  32. @46 – I know he’s had a good month, but Riley now has an .810 ops at Gwinnett. I’m not ready to reserve a place in the Hall of Fame next to Chipper Jones just yet.

  33. He also has just 324 PAs at Gwinnett, and just over 100 more at Mississippi. He may start in AAA again next season.

  34. Steal a base, Ronald.

    I’m not sure Freddie could hit a ball off a tee at this point.

    Well, I’m glad he proved me wrong.

  35. Not a night to remember for Zuk in any way, shape or form. Chip commenting about him trying to hit it to Tucson was funny, because right now Zuk couldn’t hit it to the toilet from the sink of your average master bathroom.

  36. HaHaHaHa. Oh, man, way to go Zuk, but I wish you’d done it with the bases loaded.

    Now, we’ve got something to play with.

  37. Zuk, just when I think you couldn’t possibly be any dumber you go and do something like this…and totally redeem yourself!

  38. Damnit, we can’t get anything right. Winkler got Goldy. There is no way to protect an advantage.

    Throw strikes you sonuvabitch.

    All these walks are so insane. Every Arizona run tonight was as a result of a walk. Every. one.

    Take him out now! before we totally blow the game…. Damn.

  39. Wilnkler has 6 strikes in 17 pitches. including the HBP.

    6 walks and 2 HBPs so far tonight.

    Did they change the height of the mound between innings? Did they move the plate or something? What the hell. Carle can’t throw strikes either.

  40. I’m generally pretty patient with the ups and downs of a long baseball season, but watching the bullpen shit the bed night after night is extremely tiring.

  41. The thing is … it’s a question of which bad option you want. You’re taking the cyanide no matter what. Do you want it with Kool-Aid, lemonade or Coca-Cola?

  42. Way to go Dansby!! Come on guys. SAC. FLY. That’s all I’m asking.

    Unbelievable. Incompetence on both sides of the ball.

  43. @81 @86

    I’m dead inside. It’s been 9 years since we had any semblance of a vertical passing game. My gosh, enough is enough. If Gainesville, FL doesn’t sell itself to athletes, we’d be lost. Get a quarterback.

  44. That should not be defensive indifference in a tie game.

    This is so frustrating. Dansby gave us a golden opportunity. Why not bat someone who can bunt and try a squeeze?

  45. Not so happy with Camargo’s defense the last few days.

    If Pollock scores here then all four runs will have been the result of a walk.

  46. This team is really bad right now. They had a million chances to score in this game, plus every run the Diamondbacks scored this game was because of a Braves pitcher’s walk.

  47. Is this like kids’ soccer or little league, where you have to make sure you get everyone a turn?

  48. That was a strike – bad call.

    He’s got a 100 MPH FB and they won’t throw it. That is so stupid.

    If they were gonna walk Goldy, why not leave Biddle in to face the lefty?

    So lucky. Sobotka = 5 pitches, 1 strike.

  49. Nats trying to take 2 from the Cubs. Harper has a HR and 5 walks between the two games. We could use him on our team.

  50. I’d PH Rivera for Inciarte and get Zuk out of there after his AB. I think Zuk must not be calling a great game with all the reliever problems.

    OK, so they did their jobs this time. Zuk moved him over and Ender got him in. Let’s get some more.

  51. Buckle up.

    Throw strikes for God’s sake!!! Always a leadoff walk. This has to have something to do with Suzuki’s framing. It’s happening to too many pitchers in a row.

  52. That was a fun ending, but I’d really like to see a no drama, shutdown inning from a Braves reliever in a late, close game. Feels like it’s been an eternity.

  53. my hairline has receded about 2 inches since august started due to this team, but that ending was something special.

  54. If we lost this game, I would have flipped my dinner table like Jim Everett flipped the table on Jim Rome.

  55. @137 I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t previously drowning some sorrows this fair evening. Thank you, Dansby.

  56. We’re never gonna win another game in normal fashion again. At least I don’t have to get up early for work tomorrow morning…yeesh!

    One thing I noticed on tonight’s edition of Bullpen Brain Drain was that it seems like we’re trying to be too fine. Every batter seemingly featured a first-pitch ball, and seemingly on all of them, Suzuki was setting up at a corner of the strike zone. I get that you don’t want to groove a meatball, but when nobody can throw a strike, I feel like maybe getting back to basics might be a good idea.

    Then on the payoff pitch to lead off the 10th, he set up on the inside corner for a pitch where it wouldn’t matter if the batter had blasted one through one of those massive vents and out of the stadium. That made no sense at all to me.

    Anyway, great win, however it happened.

  57. This is basically playoff baseball. Do whatever it takes to win. Things will not be perfect. I am seeing something in this team that I haven’t seen before. There are lots of fighting spirit in this team.

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