Phillies 5, Braves 1

Three game losing streaks are always worse when they’re at the beginning or the end of the season, especially when they’re in the playoffs. It also makes it especially worse when it’s against the division rival that’s considered the favorite and a team that acquired two of the players your team’s fans were hoping to get (along with the rest of baseball).

To add to the level of dissatisfaction, the sweep came when three starting pitchers that probably shouldn’t have started games 1-3 toed the rubber against Philly’s three best starters. And when the games were close, Atlanta threw some of the organization’s worst relievers, and Philly threw their best.

With that said, we didn’t throw our two best starters. We didn’t throw at any point our two best relievers. The most talented starting pitcher of the three, last night’s starter Kyle Wright, clearly was affected by last night’s cold, and perhaps his first start jitters. One would assume that Wright’s next start, Friday or Saturday at home against the Marlins, will be a much better environment. And by then, we should have a better idea about what’s going on with Arodys Vizcaino, and A.J. Minter will be back. One would also hope that the bullpen roles will be a little better solidified.

Last night’s offensive performance was pedestrian, but overall I was happy with the offensive output in this series. With that said, the Braves were thrown out twice on the basepaths last night, perhaps trying to take advantage of the cold night and the hopes that Realmuto wasn’t ready to get the job done. Alas, he 2 for 3 in striking out would-be base stealers. But overall, this team’s offense can play with anyone in the league. I don’t think we are particularly outmatched anywhere on offense and defense collectively.

I’m ready for the Braves to go home and get some better weather and the home field advantage. It’s Kyle Hendricks vs. Sean Newcomb tonight at 7:10, Jon Lester vs. Julio Teheran Wednesday night at 7:20, then Yu Darvish vs. Max Fried Thursday night at 7:20.

78 thoughts on “Phillies 5, Braves 1”

  1. Carrying this over from the old thread… I wrote this as a nod to Blazon

    Team is a bad wreck but I just can’t stay away,
    ‘Nother arm, a new day.

  2. thank you. also JCd.

    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 such a towering hike.

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

  3. As it stands, I think the Braves are better than last year, but 3 teams in their division will be much better than last year. I’m looking for 82 +/= 4 wins. Trades and bullpen improvements can up their wins by 4 to 6 . Unfortunately I’m not sure if 90 wins even gets us a wildcard.

  4. It’s odd to me that they didn’t start Newcomb somewhere in the Phillies series, and let either Wilson or Wright start at home for their first time. Not that Newcomb is exactly a vet, but he does have more time under his belt than them. I guess that decision is about keeping slots lined up for when Folty and Gaus return?

    I believe Kyle Wright’s going to be a good one, though. I’m not putting too much into last night’s game, because the weather was more befitting a match up between the Falcons and the Eagles. Tough environment.

  5. @ 4 – Agreed. I know Snit wanted to throw righties at the Phillies lineup, but one of the few good points from the broadcast last night were that both Hoskins and Realmuto actually carry reverse platoon splits for their careers.

    Throwing Newcomb Saturday seems like it would’ve been a viable option.

  6. Are we better this year on-paper? McCann makes us slightly worse. Donaldson cannabalizes some of Camargo’s production. We’re replacing Anibal Sanchez with rookies. The bullpen has question marks and holes everywhere.

    Granted, there’s room for upside surprises too. Especially with the young starters. And nobody at all would have predicted Anibal Sanchez’s production last year.

    I feel like we’re treading water with the position player talent, and the pitching situation has such a high variance of outcomes that it’s impossible to predict better/worse than 2018.

    It’s more that the competition got *a lot* better on-paper and we kinda stayed the same or even regressed a bit.

  7. The Braves just need to get hot. Coming home should help. Get some runs on the board early and take the pressure off the young starting pitchers. It would also help if a starting pitcher could pitch through the 6th inning, too.

  8. I don’t think we regressed. With Donaldson at third and Camargo as a super utility guy I think we’ll be improved at 3rd and on the bench. Gausman replaces Sanchez, which should be a slight upgrade. With maturing of our young guys, we may have a sophomore slump or two, but I think we’ll find some better starting pitchers from the rookies. I agree with you on catching. Bullpen is about as bad right now as it was to start the year last year.

  9. Predictably, Darren O’Day still has forearm pain and shut it down again.

    Also, Darren O’Day is Irish for Mike Hampton.

    On the bright side, Minter is expected to be activated on Thursday.

  10. I guess the Braves didn’t want to start Newk vs. Philly supposedly because of the walks issue. Gee whiz, that really worked. But it also seems weird because the ESPN announcers were saying that both Realmuto and Hoskins had reverse splits, and both Herrera and Harper were lefties. So really, how bad could Newk have been if half of the lineup hits worse vs. lefties? Would Altherr have played CF or something instead of Herrera? Hernandez is a SH, so I don’t know what his splits are.

    And while the Braves are figuring all of this out, the schedule is indeed pretty brutal. We play 3 games against Miami, the only true non-contender, this month. Padres and Reds may not be contenders, and there are 5 games against them. Everyone else (19 total against COL, NYM, CHC, ARI, and CLE) can be correctly described as a contender right now. That’s a tough schedule. I stand by my prediction of 93 wins, and I think we have a losing record at the end of April.

  11. wonder if there is some insurance on O’day’s contract for some added “financial flexibility”

  12. Meanwhile, John Gant is throwing 95 mph darts in relief for the Cardinals. I had to look to see who we traded him for (Jaime Garcia).

  13. Acuna has had some really impressive at bats so far. He’s going to have to be so patient b/c they are going to pitch around him quite often. That was a very good walk.

  14. That’s an uncharacteristically bad throw from Baez.

    Cubbies have been handing out a lot of gifts this inning. After the weekend, I’ll take ‘em.

  15. @24 Agreed 100%

    Acuna’s eye seems to have improved greatly , even if the hits aren’t falling yet.

  16. I don’t know if Newcomb understands this, but pitchers are ordinarily weak hitters. It’s usually safe to throw them a strike.

  17. And the walk to the pitcher with the runner on third with two outs. Newcomb drives me crazier than any of the relievers do.

  18. One of the ESPN guys said, he threw ten fastballs in a row, six of those were thrown with a different arm angle.

  19. I have never seen a starter stay this wild and last this long as a starter with relative success as Newcomb before.

  20. @35 — Russ Ortiz leaps to mind. He routinely walked 100 guys a year but was an effective innings-eater for half a decade or so.

  21. Chip, you call games for the organization who employs William Contreras, you don’t have to wait until you see his brother to ask for a “scouting report.”

  22. Four walks in 2 and 2/3 innings. Even if he gets out of this (which I don’t expect), Newk will force Snit to go the bullpen early once again.

  23. I guess Ortiz was almost as wild. He walked 11.8% of batters faced, and Newcomb has walked 12% not including tonight.

  24. @36–I had forgotten that Ortiz managed to be sort of good for a while with 4.5 walks per nine innings. The difference is he averaged about 7 innings per start.

  25. He’s such a tease. His stats on balls in play are crazy good. He almost never gets hit hard. And there’s so few balls in play to begin with given all the walks and strikeouts.

    I wonder if one year he’ll figure it out and just dominate. That’s the dilema. You can’t give up on him yet.

  26. I said I was looking forward to us getting to a better environment, and it’s looking good so far. I hope we can look back on our Philly series like we did the Chicago series last year: cold, terrible, and not a way to evaluate the entire season.

  27. Ronald looks even better than he did last year. As several have said, his approach and patience are remarkable for a kid his age. And as he just showed, when he gets his pitch he still knows how to crush it.

  28. These look like the lovable Cubs of my youth. I bet their boards are melting worse than ours.

  29. Newcomb has 87 pitches through 4. It’s possible that could be it for him.

    Edit: he hits for himself

  30. 3 straight games our SP doesn’t get through the fifth. I don’t know if there’s a solution to this other than time. There is something to be said about carrying Luke Jackson if this is to be a regular thing.

  31. I wonder if we are moving to an era where piggybacking 2 starters becomes a regular thing.

  32. I’m so here for multi-inning Parsons coming out of nowhere and giving us some hope instead of all this doom.

  33. I wonder if we are moving to an era where piggybacking 2 starters becomes a regular thing.

    You’re gonna see teams that have the depth avoid that third time through the order whenever possible.

  34. I’m just enjoying watching the game tonight. Our runs were given to us, we got a jack from Acuna, and Newk did manage to escape. Nothing really too exciting and nothing really too awful (yeah, yeah, walks) – just a winning night.

  35. So, Vizcaino has a limited number of bullets, and Snitker is going to use him in an 8-0 game.

    *facepalm*

  36. @76 – it’s the 4th game of the year. It’s about time for him to get some work and a low leverage situation is good. He looked rusty, which is understandable.

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