The tying run is at the plate…really… Braves 6 Phillies 8,lock_state=final,game_tab=box,game=567060

It was, it really was. It had been like watching a prize fight all afternoon. Some knockdowns but as many recoveries until the final round was near and we seemed to be out of it, tired and looking it. But then, for a few moments, there was hope. Until there wasn’t. The Toni twins had halved our 4 run deficit in the top of the ninth and before we went down and it was all over we had two men on base. And one of them, Acuna, was at the plate. Fun! But no.

It should be said right away that had we tied the game in the ninth we would have overachieved and not deserved that equilibrium, they had a significantly more potent offense. But more of that later.

Our offense started the game with a bang and were soon 3/1 up.Great triple by a revived Ender and some outrageous base running also. Dansby hit a 2 run homer in the second and we had three on the board early to their one. This lead held up till the 4th.

Sadly we were to get only one more run between that second and the ninth.  Time to break down the offense and name names:

ENDER…much improved after that awful Wednesday. Terrific base running, so aggressive, looked like a real lead off threat.
DANSBY… Yes, Yes, Yes.! Transformed presumably with that wrist healed. Carried over from Thursday, loud contact seemingly every swing. We can’t afford to leave him at 8 which now looks ridiculous. 4 or 5 for me, maybe 2.
FREDDIE… Wow, why not just beat the shift! 4 hits!
DONALDSON…I am already scared to death but that’s me. Weak anemic contact, every time it seems.
ACUNA…0 for 5, doesn’t tell the story. Hit pretty much everything hard but couldn’t get any real elevation. Good assist early to cut down a run at third.
OZZIE..On his way hopefully. Got a hit and a rbi. Still runs the bases like the wind.
Kakes…not today.
Flowers…Yes, looking good. 2 hits, good to have him back.
Camargo. Something must be done here and soon. Smoltz was eloquent in his support of his untenable position and what it might do to his head. He is NOT for a bench. Another reason JD scares me. Like the 23M.

OUR PITCHING. Not my area of expertise till i can see more of them but i thought overall they were pretty decent. Who stirred you the most and why? Unfortunately they laid on a repeat performance of Thursday by giving up 5 runs in two middle back to back innings. Would you believe though that they, overall, held the top 4 bats in the Phillies order to a collective single run in total, Harper’s blast, late.

Look forward to reading your comments on individual pitchers. Cheers.

141 thoughts on “The tying run is at the plate…really… Braves 6 Phillies 8”

  1. Dansby truly looks like a different player right now, making the squeeze play a bit…suspect. But he keeps hitting the ball like this, why not a top for of: Dansby, Acuna, Freddie, Donaldson?

    I really liked Wilson’s start. yes, he didn’t get out of the 4th, but for a 21 year old kid, i like his moxie.

  2. Wilson did not look great to me. Lower end of 91-94, spotty command resulted in leaving pitches up which was only partially offset by being effectively wild/getting the Phillies to chase. He still had decent movement on the fastball which probably drove some of the latter. His breaking pitches lacked depth and his changeup simply isn’t good enough for him to rely on it to the level he did today, especially to righties.

    The rest of the relief corp was okay I thought. The Parsons walk seemed a byproduct of him being a bit shaken by the headshot he almost gave Hoskins, and the HR’s are going to happen to that lineup in that ballpark.

    Tomlin looked better than I thought. Velocity is below average, but you can see he’s a plan of attack against hitters and commands his pitches.

    Biddle/Venters were the same as usual. Decent guys for the back half of a bullpen.

  3. My predictions:

    Record: 75-87
    Most pitching wins: Newcomb 11
    Most losses: Teheran 12
    Most homers: Acuña 32
    Riley arrival: August 1, becoming the everyday 3b after Donaldson is traded for prospects at the deadline
    Pache arrival: September 1, 2020

  4. I think we’ll end up being a reliever or two short if Winkler is ineffective and O’Day is in as bad of shape as it seems. I can sort of defend not signing Kimbrel, but I don’t know why we didn’t sign someone. As it sits, I think you have a six man pen of Minter, Vizzy (sometimes), Venters, Biddle, Carle, and…. maybe Sobotka? I still think Parsons will be good, and Tomlin is a cromulent long reliever. But there’s almost no margin of error if a starting pitching prospect doesn’t move to the bullpen for at least a couple months or Winkler doesn’t get called back up.

  5. So far, Fried and Sobotka and Venters have been good. Other were OK ….. until they gave up a HR. We haven’t seen Viz yet and he’s already complaining about his shoulder. All the news basically says is that the improvements the Braves plan to make will be via injury recoveries (that includes Winkler). I don’t think that’s going to be enough.

    The other biggest concern is Donaldson not looking very good at all at the plate. I suspect that all the extreme caution during Spring has not allowed him to get his game timing set. At least I hope that’s all it is. I’m not as concerned about Camargo. It took him a couple of weeks of action to come around last year after starting injured. I’m also not convinced about Inciarte either after one good game. The biggest issue I have with the lineup is that it was Inciarte and Joyce that came up after Culby’s HR before Freddie doubled to give us hope. I would have rather seen Markakis and Acuna up in the 9th before Freddie.

    Lessee, when Folty and Gaus come back, the rotation should be Folty, Gaus, Newk, Julio, Wright (probably). Bryse might be an asset in the pen along with Fried. The pen could be – with Minter – Viz, Minter, Bryse, Fried, Venters, Sobotka, Biddle, Carle/Winkler/Parsons. That leaves Jackson and Tomlin out as it should be. If Kimbrel is signed then Bryse can push back to the rotating slot, too, or Bryse can go to the AAA rotation. We still have Touki and Gohara to rotate in, too.

    The real issue is not the overall talent but the consolidation of talent from, say, five guys to two guys. That is what the offseason was supposed to accomplish and that is still the kind of trade the Braves need to make.

    Looking at the stats, the guys you would expect to be at the bottom of the pen are acting like they should be at the bottom. Tomlin, Jackson, and Carle have given up 8/11 runs, 4/5 walks, 5/7 hits, 2/4 HRs, and 1/8 Ks that the bullpen has produced in 2/7.67 innings pitched. Replacing the bottom three with top of the pen pieces (e.g. Minter, Kimbrel, rotation of Bryse/Winkler/Parsons/etc…) would turn this thing around in a flash.

  6. Donaldson will be okay. He has the pedigree. As Roger said, he’s probably behind the ball a bit because of the way he was handled this Spring. He just needs some ABs to get his rhythm.

  7. Fine, I’ll do it. I think the Braves add some big, big pieces as early as mid June, and they have a killer second half. I think they’ll also trade for a bullpen piece in early May. I think we have the horses to win games where it’s our 3rd through 5th starters competing with other teams’ options. I think no one on the position player side underperforms to reasonable expectations, and since expectations are so low with Dansby and the catchers, I think we cumulatively exceed expectations and we’re top third, maybe top 5, offense like we were last year. The defense becomes even better with groundball pitching from Gausman, better command from it’s starting pitching, and we’re a top 5 defense again.

    I think our starting pitching, by the same logic, ends up being a collective strength, maybe even top third in WAR, because we have the depth other teams don’t have and 162 games is really, really long. And one of the big pieces is that I think we add a projectable starting pitcher that is close to FA on a rebuilding team (like Jordan Zimmerman who has two years left), a pitcher on a team that falls out of it like Cole Hamels (last year) or Madison Bumgarner (last year), or someone that is on a one-year reclaim deal that lights it up for a non-contending team like Shelby Miller (one-year deal with Texas). And we’ll definitely add a couple more bullpen pieces at the deadline just like last year with Brach and Venters.

    I trust AA a lot and Liberty Media slightly that there’s more payroll to be spent than what has been spent. I trust AA that he’s not the shell of the person he used to be, and we’re in the very last few months of trying to decide who stays and who goes on the pitching prospect front, and then he does the final pruning of the organizational talent.

    We win 93 games, and we win the division.

  8. I admit that a month into CCL and MLS and a week into MLB, I did not expect the only vaguely entertaining or compelling team in the city to be the Hawks (who are still going to be in the Lottery.)

  9. Where are these big additions going to come from? It’s April for everyone else, too — no one is ready to sell yet. The teams that knew they were going to be bad dumped their valuable pieces in the offseason, as teams do. It’s not like Cleveland has changed their mind about trading Corey Kluber now that games have started.

    (That’s why you don’t just assume that the missing pieces will be there midseason, by the way.)

    Besides, if the Braves have a bad six or eight weeks, they’re the team that is going to be handing off upgrades to the other teams, not the reverse. Do you really think a management group that couldn’t be bothered to upgrade a team coming off a 90-win division-winning season is going to rush to make the necessary improvements to a team in fourth place that stumbled out the gates? No way in hell.

    They’re going to need to stay in it in order to get any additional players, and they’re going to need to do that with what they have.

  10. Kind of like how people tend to forget how little Spring Training matters every year, go check how many “big, big pieces” get traded well in advance of the deadline every year.

  11. Management doesn’t believe in this team, not sure why we should. The only drama might be whether we ever spend a day over .500 this season. The division is loaded and we don’t have the pitching.

  12. FWIW it doesn’t make sense to change your priors or draw sweeping conclusions about this team unless and until it can approach/maintain something like full health.

    Just gotta wait and see which NL East team catches the most breaks.

  13. 160-2. (OK… that’s about one iteration too much on this. I promise to stop soon.)

  14. We have various levels of arm discomfort with Folty, Soroka, Gausman, Minter, Vizcaino, Gohara…I may be leaving a few others out. I’m wondering if this is the reason we didn’t pull the trigger on any spring-time free agents or trades. There’s too many holes to fill.

  15. If this team as configured is incapable of winning 85 games in the division, then management was correct in suggesting last year’s team “arrived early” and the smart move was to slow roll the big splash trade/acquisitions until we knew more about who was or was not going to hit long term.

    If this team as configured is capable of winning 85 games in the division, they will be in a position to add talent in the summer transfer window* and increase that performance ceiling a bit.

    *yes, I used soccer terminology just to annoy Chief

  16. I’m concerned with the injuries of our pitching staff. Our beat writers saying “Oh, it’s ok, he’ll be back in mid April” seems overly optimistic.

    I think that either Folty will end up pitching through the pain of the bone spur and less effectively than before, or it will be too much and he will be forced to opt for surgery.

    I am also concerned with the guys who are having shoulder pain. I think Vizcaino is about to break. Minter has always been a high risk due to his injury history. I doubt O’Day pitches much, if at all, this season. Soroka and Gohara’s continued shoulder pain from last season is not a good sign at all. They sent Gohara to minor league camp very quickly this spring also, making me think that his stuff simply isn’t what it was in 2017.

    Gausman I think might be okay, but that’s simply not enough.

    Basically, we need Touki, Wright, and Fried to all pitch very well this season to cover the holes and lack of offseason improvements to the pitching staff. Even if they do, it may not be enough. Thus, my prediction of 75 wins, and we become sellers at the deadline.

  17. I mean, if all that comes to fruition, we might as well rebuild again. All the arms falling off at the same time was the excuse last time.

    I will say I’m excited to see Wright/Fried/Touki pitch (hopefully) a bunch of innings in 2019. It’s an important year for them, regardless of our win total.

  18. I mean, if all that comes to fruition, we might as well rebuild again. All the arms falling off at the same time was the excuse last time.

    Unlike last time, there aren’t also key position players nearing the end of team control without obvious replacements.

  19. That’s true. Our position player situation is fairly solid. My fear is that we’ll have score 8 runs to win most nights.

  20. It’s like… practically every team will need to call in pitching replacements at some point. It’s unfortunate that the starting and relief pitching is depleted at the same time. It’s also unfortunate that that coincidence has translated over to the Braves’ W-L record. So for whatever a truly meaningless sample of prodigious run-scoring on the offense’s part is worth, the team is a shade unlucky in the early going. There’s not going to be a ton of room for error, so it is, to repeat, unfortunate.

    Christian Yelich is pretty good.

  21. Giolito has a no-no through 6. It’s amazing these guys that can’t find the strike zone like him and Newk but can almost throw a no-no. But hence why teams are so enamored with them.

  22. Scoring 4 and 6 runs and not even sniffing a win is a real problem that cannot continue. Can’t we reasonably surmise that bullpen reinforcements are already necessary? After knowing the predictions from the winter, watching performance in Spring Training, and confirmation coming in the first two games, there is nothing else to wait for.

    No one will make a big trade yet, but a Kimbrel signing has to be a necessity. How is it possible that a Kimbrel 3-year signing could have much risk?????

  23. I’m not sure how much the closer is going to matter when the starters are going 3 or 4 innings. We needed to add a starting pitcher in the offseason, more than anything else. With Folty and others now questionable, that issue is magnified greatly.

  24. Trades happen plenty of times as early as mid June. That’s close to 70-ish games through the season, almost mid-season. Would Texas trade us Shelby Miller and Jesse Chavez that early, with Shelby being a FA at the end of this year and Chavez controlled for 2 years? Of course they would.

    If SF is buried by LA, Arizona, and Colorado, would they trade us Bumgarner that early? Maybe, but they would at least do it two weeks later at the beginning of July. Last year, teams made the trades earlier than normal because getting a guy for a third month instead of just two is a big deal. Shoot, the Nationals traded for Kelvin Herrera on June 18th last year.

    Cody Allen ($8.5M) with LAA will be out there. Brad Broxberger ($2.5M) with the Royals. Hunter Strickland ($1.3M) with the Mariners. Shawn Kelley ($2.75M) with the Rangers. Adam Warren ($2.5M) with the Padres. All these guys were signed for one year by teams either rebuilding or not likely to contend.

  25. With help from the ESPN transaction tracker, here are the names of players traded in/around June 2018:

    Joe Hudson
    Steve Pearce
    Deck McGuire
    Kelvin Herrera
    Wendell Rijo (completed an earlier trade)
    Chad Whitmer
    Eric Filia (completed an earlier trade)
    Jon Jay
    Curt Casali

    Big names, one and all…

    Maybe this is the year the Braves spend a little more to be, like, the one team to get their shopping done a little earlier. Absolutely nothing about events leading up to today makes me believe that’s going to happen, but hey.

  26. I never said big players were going to be traded in mid June. I said “starting in mid June”. I would consider trading for a reliever as good as Herrera a big piece, though, especially for this team. But yes, Madison Bumgarner being the largest of pieces to be traded for would be a July acquisition, but mid June and early July is picking nits.

    It’s really hard for me to see AA sitting on his hands during trade season — as early as it appears — with the way things are right now, and what he did when things were the way they were last year.

  27. That’s the second time in three games Donaldson has taken a called third strike while Ender is stealing. Is that really the best use of Donaldson considering Ender’s lack of elite speed?

  28. We need the pieces right now though – at least that’s my take. I’m assuming half the arms on the current “soon to return list” aren’t going to actually help much this season.

  29. And Freeman walks. Could’ve been a nice inning without running themselves into outs.

    Also, these ESPN announcers are going to be sucking the Phillies off all game by the sound of it. It’s only the first inning and I’m sick of hearing them and their fawning adoration for Harper and the Phillies.

  30. @36 When you throw $330M at the most marketable athlete in the game, the biggest sports network is going to talk about it.

    Olney says that Wright was the “best pitcher in the Grapefruit League”? SHUT UP BUSTER I CAN’T TAKE IT

  31. Seriously, the Phillies’ love is ridiculous. “This lineup doesn’t stop”. You have a .825 OPS 5-hole hitter. Go take a cold shower, Vasgersian.

  32. “This lineup doesn’t stop.” You basically have the more power version of Ender Inciarte hitting 6th.

  33. Herrera bailed Wright out big there. No idea why you’d swing at anything he’s throwing right now.

  34. If Odubel Herrera is your 6th-place hitter, krussell, I don’t think they’re going to be leading by 6 nearly as often as you think.

  35. Nice escape there. Looks cold and windy. Heck it’s too cold for baseball tonight in Atlanta too. Might take a while to settle in given the conditions and the nerves. The stuff is certainly there.

  36. Huge recovery by Wright. This is a hard environment for multiple reasons, agreed.

  37. We seem to be pretty intent on running on either Arrieta or Realmuto. Probably Arrieta.

  38. Sure, if you think 2018 Markakis is the real player, and not the guy who failed to top .750 in any of the previous three seasons. Also, he’s 36.

  39. There is no juice to squeeze with their 6-8. No potential whatsoever. McFlowers also has no potential, but I’d go to war with Dansby and Albies in the bottom of our lineup vs. Herrera, Franco, and Cesar Hernandez any day.

  40. @51 I’ve also been told that 190 pound catcher JT Realmuto is ripe for decline too.

    Johan Camargo had a .800 OPS too. So did Culberson. They’ll plug someone in there who can hit if Kakes can’t.

  41. Wow these free agent outfielders the Phillies bought seem to be playing well. It’s a real shame the Braves didn’t have room or money for even one of them. Real shame.

  42. They have been fellating the Phillies the entire game. It’s like a Phillies broadcast.

  43. Wright is finally settling down. Nice to have a 1-2-3 after Arrietta did.

    Geez, that Freeman guy can hit.

  44. They have been fellating the Phillies the entire game. It’s like a Phillies broadcast.

    It’s really bad.

  45. Wow this all-star catcher the Phillies acquired seems to be playing pretty well. It’s a real shame the Braves didn’t have room or trade chips to get him instead. Real shame.

  46. I can already tell that the egregious overuse of small-ball is going to drive me crazy this season.

  47. I wonder what C-level prospect to be bundled with Riley Anthopoulos was being obstinate to give to the Marlins for Realmuto.

  48. Wow this starting pitcher the Phillies paid for as a free agent seems to be playing really well. It’s a shame the Braves didn’t have a need or money for a starter the last, like, decade. Real shame.

  49. (Sixto Sanchez has a higher ceiling than any pitching prospect, perhaps any prospect at all, in our farm system.)

  50. Was very disappointed in Fried’s choice of pitch to Harper on a full count, 2 out, and bases loaded. He’d shown a great curve ball earlier but threw another fastball into the dirt to walk in another.. Chicken, would that have been Mac’s call?

    Well, we sure hit Hoskins!

  51. Hey, Carle getting ejected might be a good thing…..

    Maybe we can get Luke ejected too and see if we can win this game.

  52. Freeman is gonna get beaned later in the year b/c Shane Carle is terrible. I hate the unwritten rules.

  53. This broadcast must have a slight delay. Gameday keeps posting the pitch before it’s thrown.

  54. Yeah all the scoring alerts are about 30 seconds ahead. But I thought it was because I had YouTube TV.

  55. I’m almost ready to go back to the offseason. Boring is better than disappointing.

    At least, I can go cheer for the Orioles after they took 2/3 from the Yanks.

  56. The announcers/Phillie cheerleaders are almost as annoying as some on this thread who sound like they’re expecting the Braves to lose 100 after a bad 3 games so far.

  57. It’s not the losing. It’s not the walks. It’s the lying about “shopping in any aisle.”

  58. @112

    While a team that’s actually willing to spend money has taken at least three players, any one of whom we easily could’ve signed or traded for, and kicked our ass with them.

  59. I hadn’t endured an ESPN game broadcast in some time. Less than an hour after the National networks News chose to lead and had forgotten the puerile depths they can go to.

    Between innings tonight they produced the Phanatic in full gear. Fair enough, a minute would have been ample for him to goof around high-fiving the three broadcasters.

    Instead it must have been closer to 5 and first became just excruciating to watch, he wouldn’t stop. Then, incredibly, he kept coming back to her, trapped in the middle, stood behind her and started reaching over and pawing her all over it seemed. And came back twice and did it again.

    Then we had the extraordinary climax. Just an hour earlier the National Networks had led their evening news with the latest update on the Joe Biden affair. Not to be overlooked, he kissed her. Classy.

    Bad night all round. Home, James.

  60. It’s definitely the walks.

    Acting like we weren’t even in on Realmuto strikes me as a particularly bad case of diaper rash. Getting swept is no fun, but I don’t think I can be persuaded that we could’ve topped Sixto.

    Thirteen years for Harper is just so completely batshit crazy that it should go without saying. It’s not hard to see why we didn’t go that route, but in the end AA needed to find a way to get something more done, some other way to get some marginal improvement on top of Donaldson, and he really didn’t.

  61. I hope this keeps happening, and especially from players the Braves avoided signing to maintain flexibility. I hope Freeman demands to be traded, and I hope Glavine and others turn the heat up on these corporate stooges. Anyone who thinks this team as it’s currently put together can finish above .500 is dreaming.

  62. The Phillies are the biggest story in the NL to start the season. Of course they are going to talk them up.

  63. And while we all know championships are not necessarily won in the offseason, you have to give the Phillies credit for doing exactly what they said they’d do. To any neutral observer, they’re the natural protagonists.

  64. I know everyone is tired of breaking down the offseason, but I think it’s an interesting topic still – maybe because I barely looked at this place over the winter.

    I’d like to know if AA would have chosen to spread out the $23M we spent on Donaldson if he would’ve known that he was gonna get the credit-card taken away from him by LM later in the offseason. Assuming, of course, that’s the way things really went down. Anything other than that makes the Donaldson signing almost indefensible.

  65. If you weren’t going to sign anyone else, it made no sense at all to sign Donaldson. Who I’m going to go on record to say I bet he hits closer to 10 HRs as a Brave than 30.

  66. (There was and is zero downside to signing Donaldson. You can trade him if you fall out of it. Or if he’s hurt or ineffective, whatever, play Camargo and Riley, and he’s gone in the offseason.)

  67. Final bids for the Fox regional sports network are due on April 15. Let’s root for that financial flexibility to help put them over the top. Then, maybe, this team can change hands and find an owner who cherishes winning.

  68. @122 He had 8 dingers in a third of a season last year. Unless you think he’s going to be plagued by injuries, he should have no problem clearing 20.

  69. @121 The more I learn about LM’s supposed interest in buying a regional sports network, the less sure I am that AA didn’t know it could come down to that. I kind of think he signed Donaldson when he did because it was the safest move he would make all off-season. Now I think he is just holding out for the gun-slinger type of deal he is best known for.

    Alex’s moves this off-season are just puzzling though. We were all sitting here wondering why we weren’t signing more minor league deals, and what did we do? We waited for Matt Joyce to sign with the Giants, and then when it was obvious to all he would be released, instead of waiting for them to release him, we trade them cash. He was free for the taking 5 days earlier before the Giants signed him. Was there no other player to have on a minor league deal? Was he just not paying attention until that point??

    Being Braves GM must be the easiest low-pressure job on the planet right now. Don’t take any risks and you won’t be on the hot seat. If the team loses, it will all be on the manager anyway.

  70. Sheesh. This team won 90 last year and most of you are acting like the Titanic just smacked the iceberg. It’s been three games. Relax. Yeah, maybe we’re due for a long season. But, maybe we just had a bad series. Sit back, chill, and see where we are on May 1st. If we’re 10 and 20 then we can start to panic.

  71. @127

    It’s fine to have off series, but the issues that bit us were the ones the most casual fan knew we needed to upgrade.

    From a PR standpoint, this was a disaster weekend for the Braves. If the Phillies had signed Kimbrel this morning, there may have been a riot.

  72. It would be easier to stomach a bad series if that series didn’t validate all the concerns everyone had after their bad offseason. It’s a culmination of six months of frustration and disappointment, not three games.

    It’s cool though, Sean Newcomb is starting tonight. No chance he walks the house.

  73. If I’m being honest about right now, this team is almost unbearable to watch. The pitching is truly a frustrating mess to sit through. After Wright quickly retired the first two batters in the 1st inning and then lost the strike zone, I walked away to cook dinner. The kid will be better than alright, but it’s the rest of the pitching that has no damn excuse for throwing so many pitches out of the strike zone. It’s ridiculous that these guys can’t paint the corners with any consistency. No wonder they end up over the heart of the plate and get crushed. They must have no idea where any of their pitches are going to go…

    I didn’t imagine that after 3 games, I would be looking forward to Sean Newcomb as the possible turning point to get this team into the win column. LOL

  74. Also, it seems likely that the Braves will be bullpenning in the fifth game of the season, with two off days worked in. The whole team reminds me of nothing quite so much as a homework assignment that was left off until the last minute and then hurriedly finished during lunch break.

  75. Taking Camargo off the field makes the Donaldson signing even more complicated. I’d rather sit Outciarte if forced to pick among last year’s starting 8. We’ll see, maybe in 3 months I’ll be talking about how awesome JD is ;-) Right now he’s my early favorite for whipping-boy.

  76. @111 – Gotta’ love your consistency Chief. “The folks predicting 90+ wins are going to be SORELY disappointed.”

    This actually makes me feel a little more confident in our season. Here is your prediction from last year.

    Record: 75-87
    “This team isn’t going to sniff 90 wins. There are zero signs of that.

    It’ll be closer to 70 than 90. IMO.”

    ** Actual record 90 – 72

  77. The things that allowed 90-wins last year aren’t in place for 2019. I wouldn’t bet against Chief this time. You’re basically betting that the teams that are better than us on-paper are going to have injuries, while we largely escape them.

  78. I will say, prior to the AS break last year (excluding a 2 game Yankees series), the Braves were swept exactly once.

    Didn’t take long to match that this season.

  79. The improbable walk-off wins, minimal injuries, and over-performance by the pitching staff will not be repeated. We needed to add and did not. The Phillies added new players at 4/5 of the top spots in their lineup. Anybody who watched the Mets/ Nats series knows those teams are going to be very good. Not good!

    The Braves still have a chance to make the playoffs if our pitching can step up, but the injury problems mean they’re starting in a hole. I predicted 83 wins because I’m an optimist. They need to put a pounding on Lester tonight to get things rolling.

  80. Walks, meatballs, yesterday at least.

    Blame the wind, blame the cold.

    Young arms don’t know any better.

  81. April Fool
    there should be a rule
    off day
    we need no further encouragement when we play.

    Baby Face
    you look the cutest when you take your place
    we’re up in heaven when you throw a strike
    no matter it results in such a towering hike.

    Base Stealer
    he’s the man,
    the man with the golden touch
    he runs too much.

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