Braves 2, Phillies 1

The National League East Champions started a Sunday lineup writ large, and why not, after clinching the division with a week to spare.  Punctuating the suspense ending curb-stomping given to the Phillies in the first 3 games of the series, the B minus team completed the sweep, led by a Lane Adams RBI double and solo home run.  Adams did his work off Aaron Nola, who went 6 innings, striking out 6, and allowing all 4 Braves hits.

Anibal Sanchez went 5 innings to pick up the win, allowing 4 hits and no walks, but striking out only 1 batter.  One of the hits was a home run by Scott KingeryMax Fried, Sam Freeman, and Shane Carle closed it out; Fried throwing 2 innings, and Carle picking up the save despite walking 2 and hitting a batter.  The Phillies Kaplered to the very end, using 2 pinch runners in the 9th, but to no avail.  Of the Braves usual starting lineup, only Tyler Flowers had multiple plate appearances.

The Braves conclude their home regular season schedule at 43 – 38 and move to 88 – 68 on the season.  Among the playoff contenders, only the Cubs and Brewers have been dominant at home.  In that respect, it would be desirable to pass the Central winner for home field advantage; against everyone else it’s not as urgent.

Finally, a toast to a forgotten, distant memory: Natspos delenda est.

At the Mets on Tuesday.

Author: Rusty S.

Rusty S. is a Braves Journal reader since 2005 and an occasional innings-eater. It was my understanding that there would be no expectations.

43 thoughts on “Braves 2, Phillies 1”

  1. starting to see the love for coppy for being a contributing architect of this team. I cannot help but recalling how terrible we all felt this time last year. I cannot even fathom how long that feeling would have lasted if Acuna was subject to the same penalty. good riddance, coppy.

  2. I’m a little surprised by the attendance figures. Braves only outdrew last year’s attendance by about 50k. I know interest was high because of the new ballpark last year, but the team was pretty blah. With all the exciting young players and better than expected results, I would have expected a bigger bump.

  3. I think that three games in ATL vs. three games in LA because of the travel issues would be a really important distinction. Making LA bear more of the travel burden could make a difference for us. Not as bad for COL but better to have homefield than Coors.

    The question is would we rather play LAD/COL or MIL/STL in the first round. I think I would rather have CHC play MIL…….

  4. In other news, the average quality of announcing has improved significantly with the retirement of Hawk Harrelson.

  5. @4 Attendance is down across all of MLB by, I think, 6.5%. I believe the Braves are one of only two teams who’ve seen an increase this year. Looking for those numbers attm.

  6. The 5-teams-for-4-spots NL scrum this week should be interesting. None of the teams has even clinched a wild card spot yet. Cards have both the Brewers and Cubs. Massive tie scenarios are in play. Should be fun.

  7. @8

    Chief…me too… see @43 previous thread.

    You can put it on the board…go latics!

    a thunderous squawk
    but you never knew
    what with others you always do.

  8. @13

    Certainly the only broadcaster, then or now, who could carry off calling his booth side kick (Paciorek) Wimpy all the time.

  9. Read the article and it gives a lot of credit to Ron Washington for his work with Swanson and for him adamantly telling AA and Snit that Swanson would be much improved this year when there was consideration of Swanson starting at AAA. Nothing of note mechanically, other than saying his internal clock is a lot better this year.

    Between this and the Bowman article about Snit and Seitzer changing Acuna’s stance around the All-Star break, I’d say the coaching staff has earned their money this year.

  10. Okay, my post from earlier is a bit off since the last time I had looked in on the attendance numbers. I recall at one point the Braves were 2nd in YoY bump, but after school started it seems like even more of the YoY boost was lost — I think out of town fans attending games is a bigger component of Braves’ attendance.

    Another way I would choose to look at it is that many probably see the Braves as a soft contender this year. If they were favorites, it might help to convince more people to make the investment to attend games. Attendance all across baseball is down, and it’s no surprise because it’s costlier than ever to go see a game.

  11. Remy…

    He’s certainly right to make that point, hardly a revelation to us plebs. I just can’t stand the guy, fawning, supercilious. Ask real questions, man, not the trite and the obvious. And that smirk!!

    the oiliest of them all
    so much rather Verducci
    plainspeak and an absence of Gucci.

  12. @13 and 15 – and Dansby says that the biggest difference apart from Wash was incorporating the analytics into defensive positioning, which they started to do much more since AA took over.

  13. Last week of the season is also championship week for the fantasy league. It’s a difficult week to manage a fantasy team with many real teams juggling rotations and resting regulars. I think it would be better to cut one week out of the regular season and finish up last week. That would still have allowed for two full round robin cycles of head-to-head matchups.

  14. I was very optimistic about the defense being a huge improvement, especially for the young pitching. Watching the Phils this weekend reinforced just how tough it is for young pitching with limited pitch counts who may also not be able to pitch through trouble as well to have extra baserunners handed to the other team. I thought the incremental chipping away at extra 7-8 pitches here and an extra run there would add up to a significant savings.

    But I also was not optimistic about how the offense would perform, so what do I know? That’s probably the bigger surprise.

  15. The Athletic article spends some time on Dansby’s defense, and it’s important to note that Dansby is 6th among shortstops in DRS.

    With the outfield defense, the Braves and Cubs are the only NL teams with 3 OFers recording positive DRS, but that could be related to Nick playing so much. The rate defensive stats are not flattering to Acuna, but if you adjust for a full season, Acuna is around 8th or 9th in DRS among all NL OFers.

    Nick Markakis has logged the most innings in the outfield in MLB, a good 40 IP ahead of Mitch Haniger, which makes… no sense. Ender is also 3rd. Freddie and Ozzie also lead their positions in total innings played. Obviously that tells me something about Snit, but it also tells me that we’ve stayed remarkably healthy. Knock on wood.

  16. RE: Attendance

    I would think the newness of a stadium, especially one seemingly widely praised like STP, could trump the interest on even an exciting, contending team, so I’m not surprised we haven’t exceeded last year’s numbers by more. It’ll be interesting to see how next year’s attendance numbers are when the newness of the stadium and the newness of the team’s performance both wear off to varying degrees.

  17. Coppy acquired or drafted 22 of the 36 players on the active roster at the moment, and barring a drastic overhaul of the roster in the offseason by AA, they could have a higher percentage of Coppy players on the active roster next year. Like many of you have said, I agree that there are no tears shed for the absence of a monument of Coppy in centerfield, but to deny his architectural work is not intellectually fair. In fact, you could make the argument that Snit is getting such incredible treatment because there’s no Theo Epstein or Jeff Luhnow to point to as the reason for the season. I detected an undercurrent of “I did some stuff too” during AA’s interview on the broadcast yesterday.

  18. I wouldn’t be surprised if attendance is down for all major live sporting venues. It’s just so much easier/better/cheaper to watch on TV.

  19. 6.5% decline YoY like Donny said would be a pretty strong drop. With that said, I haven’t researched it, but I thought I heard the NFL was done close to 10% in attendance. I agree with the overwhelming sentiment that it’s much more fun to watch it on TV.

  20. If they don’t fix the ingress/egress problems at MBS, then Atlanta is due for another humiliating national-media episode early next year. It’s so bad that I’m expecting Falcons actual attendance to drop severely.

  21. @27, 28

    It’s fun to watch sports on TV if what you’re really focused on is watching the play. Going to live sporting events is about more. I’ve been to just one Braves game, and I’ve had no interest in attending any other big league sporting events. Now that I’m closer to Atlanta (again), I’d like to go, but I do recall that it’s much more expensive all the way around than going to a minor league game.

    Really, I’m just not >$100 interested. There are things they could do to fix that, of course. It means them raking in less cash, though.

  22. I’m within 90 minutes of Atlanta but the hassle of driving, parking, etc., have been considerations in not buying tickets. Cost is not really a factor because tickets are pretty affordable in Atlanta. I’m happy just sitting on the couch or working in the yard and listening to Jim and Don on the radio.

  23. Even I will concede that the Braves stellar defense this year especially when you consider the Phillies god awful defense made a difference. Of course, both of these two examples still fit my theory on D.

    It only matters at the extremes. And the Braves and Phillies Ds this season were extreme cases. Both good AND bad. If your defense is as bad as the Phillies, it matters.

  24. @32

    I agree. The Cardinals were kicking the ball a lot earlier in the year. They seem to have gotten better and have caught fire.

  25. The Braves are 8th in defensive WAR, so it’s not like they’re really in some sort of extreme.

  26. Surprise contenders such as this year’s Braves see the bump in attendance the next year, not the year they are competitive “ahead of schedule.”

    It is known.

    Also, United has no trouble at all getting 72k into and out of MBS regularly. But that said, yes, they need to fix the ingress/egress thing. It’s a stupid design right now.

  27. I grew up with Hawk and Wimpy on WGN, and I think they were just about perfect. If you disagree, then you probably hate America.

  28. Even when the O’s were good the last few years, it never cost me more than $100 to see a game and have seats (in the upper deck) right behind home plate. Maybe the Braves need to take a page from the O’s. I park at a remote Light Rail stop for free and the Light Rail is about $6 per person for a round trip. No traffic (except an overcrowded train coming back to the car). Usually with my daughter so I don’t buy beer but we buy plenty of food and ice cream and drinks (and crab cakes). Plus Camden Yards is a special venue. Wanted to go to gNats Park to see the Braves but that’s expensive…..

  29. 26 — He did acquire Gausman and Culberson, and the players say that his defensive positioning with the cards in their pocket has been helpful.

  30. @27

    They made it slightly better than it was (by adding a few doors, meaning there are now more than four doors which one can use to exit the stadium), but it’s still absurd. If there’s ever a catastrophic emergency, everybody sitting in the upper deck and along the sidelines is going to die.

    I sat in the upper deck along the sidelines for an Atlanta United game the other night. I didn’t even run into any kind of bottleneck getting out, but it literally took 20 minutes to walk from my seat to the exit door in constantly moving foot traffic. That’s pretty much nutty. Next time I do that, I’m gonna use the step counter on my phone to see what the actual distance I have to walk to get out is. It felt like half a mile with all the ramps and whatnot.

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