Atlanta 4, Miami 0

So, for the first Friday recap of the year, I was going to do a running diary of last night’s game. Unfortunately my cell phone up and died on me, and by the time I had stopped by the Verizon store and secured a replacement (minus ALL my contacts, since I am a Luddite and didn’t know to back them up to the cloud), and had eaten dinner, I had missed the first three and a half innings.

Which meant, of course, I missed Kevin Gausman walking the first two batters. So, at least I didn’t have to worry about any dangerous blood pressure spikes. But Gausman induced Neil Walker to ground into a 4-6-3 double play, and then got Starlin Castro to ground out to Dansby Swanson to end the frame.

After Atlanta went down in the bottom of the frame, J.T. Riddle singled with one out in the top of the 2nd, but Lewis Brinson grounded into the second twin killing in two innings, with Josh Donaldson starting the 5-4-3 dp. After that Gausman settled down and was as good as you could ask for, for a man starting his first game of the season, retiring the next 13 Marlins batters in a row.

I suppose turning on the game to see Ronald Acuna Jr.‘s home run replay was a petty good place to pick up the game. Freddie Freeman had led off with an opposite field single to start the frame. And on the pitch he had broken for second base. The pitch was down and away, and Jorge Alfaro, the Miami catcher had sprung out of his crouch to throw down to second base. But Acuna extendeded his arms, and drove the ball into the Chop House in right for the sweetest busted hit and run you’ll ever see. Two outs later, Tyler Flowers drove a hanging curveball from Miami starter Pablo Lopez into the left field stands on a line to make it 3-0. Swanson followed with a two out walk, after working the count full, and Gausman singled past shortstop, and Ender Inciarte singled home Swanson for a 4-0 lead.

And for quite a while that looked more like a 40-0 lead, as Gausman was absolutely filthy. 95 mph on the black, up in the zone, down and away, and just when you thought the marlins were ready for it, he’d drop an 85 mph splitter that locked up everybody. He struck out the side in both the 3rd and 6th innings for 6 of his 7 Ks on the evening. The most encouraging note was Gausman pitched into the 7th. He surrendered a lead off single to Brian Anderson, but a Neil Walker lineout and a 4-3 double play by Ozzie Albies erased any threat Miami might have had brewing.

Jesse Biddle pitched a 1-2-3 8th inning, and Arodys Vizcaino came on to make things interesting in the 9th. A lead off walk was followed by our Old Friend Martin Prado doubling down the left field line. That apparently was enough to wake up Arodys, as he struck out Curtis Granderson on a nasty slider, and then K’ed Brian Anderson as well. He walked Walker to load the bases with two outs, but Castro flew out to Acuna, Jr. in left to end the game.

So, two VERY Quality starts in a row for Atlanta pitchers. Kyle Wright tries to make it three in a row tonight. Go Braves!

42 thoughts on “Atlanta 4, Miami 0”

  1. I’m going to revert to my previous position, which is that spending time trying to game out future roster decisions is insane.

  2. Over on The Athletic, there’s a beautiful piece on how Chipper worked with Dansby this spring.

  3. From the cup half full department, as SP intimated, the upside of the walks is that the Braves lead the majors in DPs.

    Looking forward to Wright’s righting the ship tonight. Wilson, Carle, Wright, and Newk are responsible for half the Braves walks this year. Wilson and Carle already down. If Wright doesn’t control his walks tonight, he may be the one that goes out when Folty is activated. The only difference with Newk is that he’s the only one of the four that didn’t allow any runs.

    With Kakes and Flowers hot right now, the only place to improve is at the bottom of the bullpen. Quality replacements for Jackson, Tomlin, and Sobotka.

    And Donaldson could begin to hit any time he wants to… that would be nice.

  4. Once Donaldson, Freddie to some extent (extra base hits) and even RAJ start going, watch out. This team can beat anyone.

  5. I still think Chad Sobotka has the potential to be as good as any reliever in the game. There were times he was unhittable last year. Venters-esque.

  6. @5, Thank you for alerting me to that. It was very gratifying for me to read knowing that Dansby appears to have fixed that mechanical flaw with his back foot. It made his at-bats “screaming at the TV” unwatchable for me. Hopefully the fix will stick. Some players refuse to make these kinds of changes.

  7. What’s going on with Sobotka? His control doesn’t seem to be terrible but he has been extremely hittable from the first of spring training. Has his fastball just not been moving or has he been struggling with locating his breaking balls? I haven’t seen him when he’s pitched.

  8. Who are they pitching against? That’s 2 days in a row the Gwinnett starter has no hit them through 5.

  9. Why go with Minter against Alfaro with his record against him? On top of that the inability of minter to throw strikes makes it a bad matchup

  10. What a crap game. Half the position players can’t hit worth a damn, and each reliever appearance is like another round of Russian roulette.

  11. Maybe the 4 spot doesn’t work for Acuna. The 2 spot isn’t working for JD so maybe flip flop them and see what happens

  12. I would almost prefer the odds of Russian Roulette, seeing as how our relievers are much more likely than a one in six chance of giving up runs…

  13. Snitker said they’ll call up Jackson tomorrow. Say hello to the Alex Jackson era. It could be a platoon for Jackson and Lopez.

  14. @38 They can’t call up Lopez – he’s no longer on the 40-man. But I do expect Jackson to replace one catcher. Just don’t know which one.

  15. They could put O’Day on the 60 day DL he isn’t coming back soon.

    Outside of Viz, Biddle, and Parsons the bullpen has been very shaky.

  16. McCann is definitely out and will be placed on the injured list. Flowers is a question mark. My guess is he’ll either miss at least 5 or 6 games but stay on the team as a spare catcher who can’t hit or he will be DLd tomorrow. If his wrist is broken he could be the one going on the 60 day DL.

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