Braves 8, Phils 3

What a terrific, timely, exciting win for the Braves. For much of the game it was a real nail biter; mine were pretty ragged by the 7th inning. It was 3-3 after 3 innings, and stayed that way until the bottom of the 7th, when the Braves took a 4-3 lead. A 4 run 8th gave the Braves the final cushion in an exhilarating 8-3 victory. A truly well played game in one of the most crucial contests of the year.

As noted, the Braves took the lead for good in the 7th when Dans hustled a single into a double. Duda followed with double ripped into right field corner. Then in the 8th, Camargo and Suzuki lead off the inning with back to back singles. Ozzie was called upon to sac bunt. After two attempts that went foul, he managed to draw a walk (!). Dansby followed with a bases loaded walk. Three more then scored on sac flies by Culberson and RAJ and a hit by Ender.

Props to the pitchers. Gausman was shaky early, giving up 3 runs on 5 hits and a couple of walks in the first 3 innings. But then he turned a corner, retiring 11 straight to take it into the 7th of a 3-3 game. His strong 4th, 5th, and 6th innings were a key to the game. After Gaus retired the first batter of the 7th, Biddle got the final 2 outs. Snit turned to the recently activated Vizcaino in the 8th to preserve a narrow one run lead. Against the 2, 3, and 4 hitters, Viz got them on a groundout, a groundout, and pop up. I was a little surprised that Snit used him in such a high leverage situation; was this a show of confidence in Arodys, or a lack of confidence in the other options? If Viz can pitch like this, he could be a much needed asset in postseason. Then in the 9th, with a 5 run lead, Sobot-K came on looking like someone who ought to be on the playoff roster. He stuck out the side with an unhittable combination of 98 mph heaters and a wicked slider. So, they retired 18 of last 19 batters. (And the one who reached was erased on a caught stealing when he overslid the bag, and Ozzie wouldn’t let him back on.)

Did I say above that this was a well played game? I was referring only to the Braves. It ought to be pretty demoralizing for the Phillies; they played poorly. They matadored ground balls all night; the pitchers tossed three wild pitches in crucial situations; and their bullpen imploded while the Braves’ pen shut the door. And although it wasn’t the most significant play of the game, I got a lot of pleasure out of this one: A run scored in the first when Hoskins made a mental error. A sharp ground ball could have led to an inning ending 3-6-3 double play. But when he stepped on the bag first, a heads up Kakes stopped and got caught in a rundown long enough for Freddie to score from third.

For the past month or two, we’ve been anticipating these final 7 games with the Phillies, knowing that the pennant was likely to come down to these games. After last night, the lead is 6 1/2 with 9 games to play, and the magic number is down to 4. Win 2 of the next 3 this weekend, and it’s all over. It would be nice to use the last week to rest some guys and figure out the playoff roster. Let’s end this thing.

P.S. I think Mr. Collins can continue to rest.

105 thoughts on “Braves 8, Phils 3”

  1. Newk’s turn will be skipped. I really like the management of this team. Newk has hit the wall. No point to keep blind faith in him. He will be good to go again next year.

  2. I think I misstated something a couple of threads ago worrying that we may need a lefty starter for playoff teams that don’t fare well against lefties. I looked against and NONE of the playoff teams, AL or NL, fare poorly against lefties. I would be confident leaving Newk off the playoff rotation and as long man only. That includes the Phils which explains why they’re skipping him (as much as he’s hit a wall too).

    The Braves have the worst record against lefties of any playoff team.

  3. From the other thread…. I like “Luca Duda”, cracks me up. I’m sticking with that as long as he’s producing.

  4. With Folty and Julio having problems in the 1st inning, would it possibly make sense for the Braves to imitate the Rays and go to an “opener” to begin the game? If our starter didn’t have to face 1-2-3 the first time around they might improve their overall performance.

    Also the four playoff starters should probably be Folty, Gaus, Anibal, and Touki.

  5. With Folty and Julio having problems in the 1st inning, would it possibly make sense for the Braves to imitate the Rays and go to an “opener” to begin the game?

    This would have made sense if we still had Craig Kimbrel. And if we had to play in the play-in game.

    *pregnant pause*

    But we don’t. I don’t trust any particular reliever to throw a decent inning more than I trust Basil. Ideally, Teheran should only be in mop-up duty, if we’re winning or losing big.

  6. They have a pretty easy remaining schedule, so yes, it looks like the Dodgers and probably opening on the road. Cubs versus winner of STL/MIL WC game.

    Beating Kershaw and Buehler 2 or 3 times is a tall order and Puig is Acuna hot, but ATL plays well on the road and has been able to get to other teams aces pretty well (Sale and Scherzer come to mind).

  7. @15 Playing the Dodgers should definitely eliminate Newk from the rotation. They kill lefties of all sorts. the Dodgers are the one team that’s really scary especially with our history with them this year. And, I think, we only played them pre-Machado.

  8. @14 I dunno. I think maybe Sobotka would be a good candidate to start a game before the hitters get comfortable. Of course, Sobotka may not make the roster.

  9. Talk about depth: the Dodgers have an active roster of 38. Snit can’t give anyone a day off and the Dodgers are carrying 4 catchers.

  10. But don’t worry, I found their weakness: they’re 8th in starter ERA. Pushovers.

    In all seriousness, they’re 25th this year in defensive WAR. So that would be their legitimate weakness.

  11. @23 @24 No team has undershot their expected won/loss more than the Dodgers (OK, excluding the Orioles). The Dodgers have won 8 fewer than they should have (the Nats have won 7 fewer). My guess is that they are very streaky and will beat you 10-1 one day and lose 3-5 the next. If we get lucky and catch them down then we can win. For all the crap about Snit, at least we are nearly even with our expected won/loss.

  12. Machado was with the dodgers when they played us , at least for one series, I remember him hitting his first dodgers homerun against us :(

  13. Wow. What’s up with Julio? He is all 91-92 on the first hitter. That’s at least a tick or two up from where he normally is.

    Well, ugh, I guess 91-92 will not prevent leadoff HRs.

  14. Oddly, that seems to have been one of his better 1st inning efforts. Outside of the HR he got three straight outs on just 7 pitches. But, yeah, I have a strong curiosity to see what would happen if Julio started in the 2nd.

  15. He has gotten up to 92.5. He struck out Odubel with a curve but before that, in two innings, one curve and one slider – everything else FBs.

  16. Now he’s getting bad calls because the umpires don’t believe he’s throwing strikes, I guess. Two missed strikes there.

  17. If the Phillies want to get better next year they are going to have to replace a lot of position players. Their defense is just awful. It’s like a bunch of Matt Kemps out there.

  18. Rhys Hoskins has been a disaster defensively in LF. They need to find a way to move Santana this offseason and put Hoskins back at first base. Maikel Franco has established himself as a below average to bad player at third base and they need to move on from him. J.P. Crawford needs to take the next step and establish himself as an everyday shortstop. Scott Kingery was awful this year and they need him to improve a lot next year. Nick Williams is a pretty good platoon bat but his defense is Kempian. Odubel Herrera isn’t good enough with the glove to be an everyday CF and needs to move to an outfield corner, a fact the Phillies seem to realize.

  19. Playing Carlos Santana at third base is even more laughable.

    Of course, the minute I say that he makes a nice play.

  20. Both Crawford and Hernandez have hit Julio well. I guess it may be because they’re lefty.

    HA!!! Julio wriggled out of it.

  21. 45 — I tend to agree with that. The Phillies wanted to make room for Crawford though, and he wasn’t ready yet (nor was Kingery).

  22. Joe can’t wrap his mind around Kapler using his Closer(tm) in the 6th inning, even though it’s the middle of the order.

  23. Meh, he was near 90 pitches and it’s the third TTO. They have a bunch of guys in the bullpen.

    Also, Pivetta is in his first full season and likely is past his career high in innings.

  24. If there’s one thing I hate about Snitker’s tactics, it’s the idiotic intentional walks. Walking the #7 hitter with 1 out and a man on 2nd is extremely unnecessary and quite often the intentional walk scores (Herrera was stranded at 3rd).

  25. So Teheran throws it down the middle and it’s a ball, and Neshek throws it in the other batter’s box and it’s a strike.

  26. OZZIE!!! Finally. Let’s get’em all back this inning.

    Duda has become a weapon. Finally found one.

    Here’s Ronald’s chance to make it all up….. C’mon. Do it.

  27. Why did Dansby go home? If they tried to turn a DP then Dansby could have scored. If they went to first them it would have been 2nd and 3rd with one out.

    We really needed that run with no outs.

    Way to go Ender!!!! Why didn’t Acuna score????

    Un-doom!!!

    Score this run from 3rd. Get it done, dangit.

  28. Camargo swinging at balls way out of the zone. He’s gonna fall over trying to reach so far outside.

    Unbelievable. Way to go Camargo!!! Finally, a lead. Boy, this has got to deflate the Phils.

  29. Wow, if you took a one day break from Braves baseball, you may be missing that the Braves potentially have a late-inning reliever. Good for Sobotka.

  30. Sobotka is a machine. Found money.

    How long has it been since Ozzie hit a HR? Since the last Phillies series? LOL…….

  31. Through 12 innings, Sobotka has the dominating, Kimbrel-esque profile that we hoped Minter would be out of the shoot.

    What’s interesting is that if you’ve followed Braves prospects, you knew that Sobotka was out there, but there was little mention of how devastating his stuff had the potential of being. To me, I had inferred he was a low velocity, middle reliever or spot starter type.

  32. I know it’s not there yet, but Sobotka and Minter could give you some lefty/righty wicked looks that few teams have.

  33. Minter better be mixing in a bunch of changeups.

    Why won’t they throw the changeup? It has worked every time for Minter. His cutter doesn’t have enough separation from the FB.

  34. Throw the fastball after the changeup not the cutter.

    Fastball up and in would be golden.

    Oy, whew. I’ll take it.

    Magic number= 2. GNats eliminated. Winning home record assured. And a 3 game winning streak.

  35. If I hadn’t looked it up, I think I would have thought Brach’s Atlanta ERA was at least double what it actually is: 1.23.

  36. @83 They did not once throw the FB before or after the changeup. Minter threw 26 pitches that inning and could have gotten out of it with half that. Throwing the cutter between the FB and changeup significantly reduces the effectiveness of all three pitches.

    Look at the pitch distribution. Never more the 4-5 mph between pitches. He got fouls and misses on the changeup except to Franco where they never mixed in the FB among the cutters and changeups. On the triple to Alfaro, they never threw the changeup at all.

    I don’t get it. Minter came from the minors with the cutter as his swing and miss pitch. He does not get misses on it in the majors. He is way more effective in the majors with the FB/changeup (with occasional cutter) vs FB/cutter. They have not committed to it yet.

    I’m glad he got the out but the proper pitch call would have been FB up and in to Quinn’s cold zone.

  37. I saw the video of Acuna’s misplay. Yeah, that was pretty bad. I don’t know if it was a bad route or a total misjudge. Teheran’s reaction was pretty strong. I sure do feel bad for him because he is so reliant on the defense and he successfully pitched to the defense.

    That being said, I wonder if it would be better to play Inciarte in left and Acuna in center. Left seems to be the more difficult field at STP and Inciarte is the better defender. Acuna has done OK in CF.

  38. Minter’s pitch mix is weird, and he’s not yet consistently dominated with all three. Today, I agree with Nick that it was the cutter that was his out pitch. Sometimes it’s his change up, sometimes his fastball. He’s a really inconsistent pitcher that is serving as a league average closer for a team that needs more.

  39. I wonder if any of our pitchers performs significantly different depending on Flower or Suzuki is behind the plate. Such stats available anywhere?

  40. Let’s finish off the Phillies ourselves. Magic number is 2 my friends….honestly this team is not perfect and no team is but I am loving it!!!

  41. @91 There was a story about that over at TC or TT or somewhere. I may not recall correctly but, I believe, Newcomb is significantly better with Zuk. I don’t know about any others.

  42. Folks, the Phillies are 7.5 GB and they have 9 left to play. The Braves have 8 left to play.

    So, basically the Phillies have to go 9-0 and the Braves have to go 1-7 or worse.

  43. Reading between the lines of the quotes by Phillies players after the game, it seems like they don’t like Kapler very much.

  44. @96 I am not surprised honestly. He seems to be an anti-snit. Would be awesome if the Phillies keep him as the manager for a long time.

  45. #96 & #97

    For example, against the Mets the other day, Kapler pinch hit for Herrera after he had hit a two-run HR during his previous at-bat.

  46. If Baseball be the food of love

    Play on!

    Give me excess of it.

    @87 Roger, you think and write well but Inciarte to left field?? Never! The routes he runs in center field are at the very backbone of our defense. You and Rob disagree to a point about Minter’s change up – you could well both be right.

    @89 Sam, it must have hurt so much to see FFG so highly remembered! Cheers to you.

    @85

    Shane Carle
    relies on his slider and snarl
    but never a K
    those umpires ya’ know, they can screw up your day.

    @65 Rob
    Was thinking last night that Dansby has reached a point in his base running with its huge dose of ultra aggressiveness that he he deserves a WAR category of his own which would have nothing to do with his excellent defense – it’s an offensive weapon.

  47. There’s a podcast called The Good Phight. It’s very good. It provides a lot of insight into the whole Phillies organization. Their problems go well beyond Kapler. He’s just one of a number of not very bright people leading that outfit.

  48. Eh. I didn’t think the Phillies were a good team at the break. Kapler or not, if they didn’t start scoring more runs, then losing was likely to happen regardless of in-game decisions. He may have cost them a win or two from the dugout, but from the clubhouse he could be costing them more.

    I like Snitker. He won’t pinch hit for Albies after a homer because of some split. His players love playing for him. Maybe some day soon, a big FA will cite Snit as his reason for signing with the Braves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *