Braves 7, Mets 3 – Julio Doesn’t Think Much Of Your Insolence

With the Braves splitting a home series with the Mets, the season is around 10% done. The race that we thought there would be is on. The Mets, Phillies, and Braves are within a half game with the Nationals 2 games back of the lead. So no one has come out of the gate red hot, and no one has disappointed, other than maybe the .500 Nationals.

But how it’s happening might be a shock. First in hitting fWAR, wRC+, wOBA, and even home runs? That’d be your Braves. Yep, even in home runs. And perhaps more importantly, we’re 3rd in MLB in wOBA and 5th in wRC+. The team’s doing an incredible job of producing runs. Yesterday’s home run outburst is what put us one ahead of the Nationals, by the way. More of the same with defense; the Braves’ 4.2 defensive WAR outpaces the next best team, the Phillies, handedly (2.5 defensive WAR). The Nationals and Mets, so far, have been smoldering dumpster fires defensively, but well into the negative territory in calculation. That’s the one neglected thing about the Nats and Mets; they have old teams that just aren’t going to sling the leather.

On the pitching side, it’s more the reverse. The Nationals lead in pitching WAR, though their ERA is second-worst amongst the East contenders. They’ve probably been a little unlucky in short sample with earned runs, but they’re towards the top in K/9, BB/9, HR/9, etc., hence the higher WAR total. The Braves actually lead in ERA, but they have — shocker — the second-worst BB/9 in baseball. So far, the Braves have gotten worse since last year in the walk department. If we’re looking at FIP as an indicator of future performance, the Braves having the worst FIP amongst the contenders tells me that we’re going to need to see improvements from the staff. The starters are 21st in WAR, ahead of only the Phillies, and the relievers are 22nd, ahead of only the Mets. That’s not the way to draw it up.

Last night, Julio Teheran outdueled Jacob deGrom. Of course. Through 4 starts, he has the highest strike out rate of his career, and second-highest walk rate of his career, second only to last year. His BABIP is also his highest of his career, so maybe he’ll see more good luck going forward. Nick Markakis and Josh Donaldson, both for the second night in a row, hit home runs. Hopefully that means Donaldson is starting to get hot. Charlie Culberson also went yard. Johan Camargo got the start at SS. After playing sparingly in the first week, Camargo’s playing time has increased. I would expect him to have about 80% of the PAs of the “regulars” come May.

Three game home set against the Diamondbacks. We dodge Greinke. Robbie Ray vs. Max Fried tonight at 7:20.

155 thoughts on “Braves 7, Mets 3 – Julio Doesn’t Think Much Of Your Insolence”

  1. From DG, last thread:

    @40: The Behind the Braves podcast was laughable. The hosts, one of whom is Greg McMichael, gave Alex cover by comparing what he does to the government and national security in that we don’t always have a need to know. Oh boy, did Alex use that to tell all of us that he wishes he could tell us so many things, but there are things that he just can’t tell us about certain players. Hey, I get that, but I’m not upset at things I haven’t been told. I’m upset at things I *have* been told. Nobody put a gun to his or McGuirk’s head and made them tell all of us about their list of needs that they were going to meet, how 2019 is the year, the “shop in any aisle” line, “financial flexibility,” etc. Nobody made McGuirk tell all of us that it “takes a lot to build this edifice.” The idea that fans are upset because of things they aren’t being told is a red herring. Alex also goes on to mention relief pitchers on long and expensive contracts and how those aren’t ideal (Kimbrel, without saying his name), but he’s the genius who signed an injured O’Day who may never throw a pitch in a Braves uniform. These guys think they know so much more than we do, and we’re all just too stupid to see their master plan.

    Well, I’m going to match you in tone. I think the people that have lost their minds because AA didn’t open the season at the payroll they heavily hinted at are acting stupid. If AA has never been a big deadline guy, I’d be inclined to agree. But he said what they wanted to do, they didn’t, and he said they’re going to do it mid-season. And, frankly, some people are simply too stupid to understand that whether you add $40M in payroll at mid-season or $20M before the season, it’s the same freaking number.

    I’m not sure what would have been smarter for AA at the beginning of the offseason. Fans wanted to see action. Fans wanted to see deals. After 4 years of rebuilding, the fans were excited. He said what he thought he could about wanting to add pieces. I have no problem with that. I have little problem with the fact that they didn’t do anything. I do, however, have a problem with the “oh, I told you we could do stuff, not that we would do stuff” comment at the end of the offseason. That just came off incredibly condescending.

    But for the people that truly think that we will stick at $114M for the year, I think that’s stupid. The guy’s been a GM for all of one season, and he added 5 25-man roster pieces at the deadline in the one season he’s been the GM. Like, what’s the breakdown there? He said he’ll do something he did last year. Why do people cry?

    Yes, Greg McMichael comparing it to national security was stupid. But AA listing historical examples of how he’s operated, both positive and negative, means that the podcast should be required listening before people pop off with “the Braves aren’t going to do anything”. That’s just ignorant.

  2. Also, I think it’s too early to assume O’Day won’t throw a pitch for the Braves. Next month, I’ll probably agree with you. We’re currently paying $14M for relievers to not pitch for us, and about $3M for relievers to pitch for us.

  3. Dang it, you’re right. I just want the Braves to be playing every day of the year so bad that it escaped me.

  4. Anthopolous gains a little benefit of the doubt when the team, with the players on its active roster, does well. We thought we probably needed upgrades at RF, SS, CF, and C. So far, Swanson and Markakis are making him look really smart. I think C is working out pretty well, too. Outer Endciarte is just going to be money fairly well spent for a glove and not much bat until Pache is ready. Although, I still wish we could replace him. My wife even commented that he doesn’t look interested in what he’s doing at the plate. She probably only sees one game a week, and she can tell that about him compared to the rest of this charged line up.

    As Rob has observed in me, I’m the type who likes to keep it simple. This doesn’t look like an optimally constructed team. That’s what bothered me during the off-season. Even now, there are players who either were recently available or are *still* available who would be upgrades for us. Of course, there are a lot of details we may never learn of, such as bad knees or player preferences. Not everyone is cut out for pitching in 90+ degrees with 90%+ humidity. After being gone for ~10 years, I’m not sure I’m cut out for it either. There are just human reasons why transactions don’t happen. It’s not always financial limitations or corporate conspiracies that are road blocks to the team improving. In fact, I feel like the corporate suits would probably rather just say that all the construction is why the payroll is where it’s at, but they aren’t really saying that. Moreover, it seems like they’re indicating there’s room to spend this year, and more room on the way. I tend to be suspicious because we’ve heard all this before, but then it just doesn’t make sense to troll a volatile fan base with the same lies. It’d be easier to just shoot our hopes and eat the fall out immediately.

    Still, one would think that this front office could find some upgrades for the pen. I can’t believe we finished last season, made it through the off-season, and entered the new season with so many players going straight to the DL. Has such a thing ever happened before? I feel like it’s unheard of…

  5. Splitting the Mets series feels like a win. We’ve managed to dig out of a couple of holes early on. Staying .500 intra-division is going to be huge in the first half.

  6. AA’s view all along, quite clearly, is that this team has so much young pitching that stuff will basically work itself out.

    One’s ability to trust the process is connected intimately with one’s belief that stuff will basically work itself out. Newcomb and Toussaint on Saturday provide good exhibits on both sides.

  7. (By the way, one black mark on AA’s resume has been that he hasn’t had a lot of success in developing young pitchers. He obviously traded away Syndergaard in the R.A. Dickey deal. Brett Cecil and Ricky Romero both failed on his watch, and his biggest successes are Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman, who have both been very up and down.

    His Blue Jays teams were always built around massive offenses and patchwork pitching staffs. The 2019 Braves are looking that way again.

  8. Some fans always put too much into small sample sizes. Inciarte isn’t likely to hit below .200 all year (and he is a notoriously slow starter); expect him to regress to his career averages and be a 3 WAR player.

    Josh Donaldson already has regressed from his slow start back toward his career averages.

    Likewise, some of our players who have started hot will cool off.

  9. @9 You misunderstand what some fans are “always” saying about Ender. He doesn’t have much of a bat. He has some bat. That’s different than no bat at all. No one is under a false pretense that Ender will fail to hit north of .200. That’s a false argument you fabricated to support your counter argument.

    Secondly, players who consistently struggle for half seasons also sometimes struggle for the other halves of those seasons. Ender’s struggles are cause for concern. It’s a valid concern.

    @8 I’ll be that guy who chimes in to say that pitching just isn’t what it used to be. Looking back through the past 10 years of World Series winners is eye-opening, actually. A lot has changed even over the last 6 seasons. MLB rotations just don’t have as many pitchers pitching 170+ IP as they used to. In response to your point about Anthopolous’s teams, I would counter that not very many teams manage to put together consistently strong rotations, but if you’re going to win a world series it certainly helps to “luck” into one. The Astros and Cubs are good examples of quality pitchers coming into the right environment at the right time and magic happened. I think our rotation is so far pretty solid by comparison, but we clearly need one more starter to step up into that upper echelon with Folty. If we could have 3-4 starters with 170+ IP, we would be there, basically.

  10. Assigning Folty to upper echelon starter status is premature. He had a solid year, but he’s not yet Scherzer, Verlander or Kluber. A good year, not good years. Wait and see.

  11. @11 When I don’t call him an ace, I get comments on it. When I do acknowledge him, I get comments on it. It’s not the point. He was 8th in Cy Young voting, so we gotta acknowledge he’s pretty good even if we wish for more. The point is we need another guy in the cy young running.

  12. Victor Vodnik
    is working on stricter control with pace ultra sonic
    currently his curve at ninety eight
    is best described as awesome, even when it’s straight.

    Watch this guy.

  13. There’s a certain degree of comfort in knowing that regardless of what may happen on the field or in “reality” as we know it, the people who have decided that Anthopoulos and Liberty are evil and stupid in equal measure will always be certain of their assumptions.

  14. Waiting until the trade deadline is the GM equivalent of holding your closer back in a tie game on the road while throwing a bunch of lesser pitchers, hoping that you eventually get a lead so that you can finally deploy your closer.

  15. But not really though. In your scenario, it’s like waiting until the 9th so you can throw, like, two closers or something. It’s just not analogous. If you can add two players at the deadline when you otherwise could only add one at the beginning of the year, it’s no different. The only difference is that he has to be thinking there’s more of a buyer’s market at the deadline than the market in the offseason. Otherwise, why would he do it? I don’t buy the explanation that they’re actually just going to do nothing.

    There’s just no reason for him having not done something unless you think we’re all being hoodwinked to the highest degree. Like we’re going to get to the end of the year and, yep, $114M payroll.

  16. He’s doing all the things you’d do (e.g…nothing) if you didn’t expect to compete, but still want to be able to have options if your expectations are exceeded and we’re in the mix deep into the season.

    If you think this team can win the division, then doing nothing is pretty indefensible, isn’t it?

  17. Say thank you to the genius who said, years ago, no more of this Richmond nonsense for AAA. Let’s relocate just down the road.

    This year it has become integral to whatever success we have achieved, swapping around. Touki says thanks.

  18. @19 Not necessarily. If you think the team is good enough to make the playoffs as constituted, it makes sense to keep your powder dry to acquire difference makers at the deadline when you see what needs shoring up. Not saying I agree with this, but it’s defensible.

  19. Well, good thing he didn’t do nothing then. The Donaldson signing was early but it still counts.

    Let’s look at how the rest of our contenders are faring:
    The Mets are keeping Vargas in the rotation and say they “don’t have the money to sign Dallas Keuchel” Yep, they are running away from us.
    The Phillies David Robertson (a prized target of many of the naysayers on this board) has the dreaded “forearm tightness” and is on the IL. The team has already said it intends to go with internal options (unlike the Braves…)/s
    Washington is actually looking to add to its team but the names involved — Bud Norris and Dan Jennings — don’t exactly look like Craig Kimbrel.

    In short, we’re fine, trust the process, young pitchers will break your heart. :)

  20. @18 I don’t understand your rationale, Rob- or AA’s, if that’s the case. I mean I see it from the aspect of spending “X” amount of dollars on one player could be the same as spending “X” amount of dollars on two players, because money spent is money spent. It honors his word, in a way.

    Wouldn’t it be more beneficial to have one player now though than two players for 60 or so games?

  21. Rob might be considering more talent being available closer to the deadline as opposed to right now or during the off-season. If the Braves were legit interested in Kluber, then we could potentially add Kluber (~$8 million remaining owed after deadline) plus another ~$6-9 million acquisition such as an elite reliever, and that would equal ~$15ish million in payroll additions. If the reliever is a FA after the season, then we basically added Kluber for next year with little additional payroll increase over this year.

  22. Rob’s points are not invalid but its impossible to know IF they will add at the deadline or thereabouts. His points seem to center on that they will but that is not known.

    I’ll eat a little crow and say that I thought the Mets and Phillies would be better than they are. I’ll also give some credit to Snitker as I believe that the Braves play more as a team than some of the other teams seem to. The players like him, and that may be enough in the modern age.

    I still wouldn’t pay Kimbrel 15+M though.

  23. @26 Interesting other point. For all the comparisons of Acuna and Soto last year, Acuna is significantly outplaying him this year so far. Soto not doing bad; but not like Acuna.

    And Acuna’s defensive ratings are giving him a step function jump in WAR.

  24. So, everyone – even Rob and those defending AA’s slow hand on Kimbrel, etc – need to go read Snowshine’s comment @23 until the sinking of Josh Donaldson’s signing down the memory hole ceases to be a thing. The Braves did not “not do anything” this winter. They signed a former MVP who has a reasonable chance of returning to at least 3/4 of that MVP form. Jesus.

  25. I’m even willing to acknowledge that adding Donaldson was really a bare minimum move. You don’t financially punt 2018 by taking back $40M+ in dead salaries to then replace it with $23M, then take Kakes’ $11M in salary and bring him back for $7M. And they did similar with the catching position. I think most fans were led to believe that they at least match last year’s payroll at the beginning of the year, if not exceed it. And they need to. And I think they will. It’s obviously that last statement that some are not agreeing with. Chief’s right, we don’t know, but I see no valid reason to think otherwise.

    So, yes, Josh Donaldson is not nothing, but the problem with even acknowledging Donaldson by saying “just signing Donaldson”, the argument then becomes that you’re saying Donaldson’s not that good or something. It’s just easier to say “nothing”.

    Plus, I also think fans expected one prospect to be traded.

  26. It’s more that they said they’d spend more, and then they spent less. Don’t say things.

  27. @32 I see the lack of trades as a worse failing than not signing more FAs. Considering how many other teams made some really good trades; that’s where our biggest potential gain could have been. I really think that we signed plenty of FAs.

    Consolidating value would have been a huge step forward.

  28. At this point, waiting until after the June draft to sign Kimbrel will be almost like a deadline pickup. Getting him then and for the next two years after that will still be a good deal. And now we know for sure that Viz won’t be reliable for the whole year; Kimbrel makes that much more sense.

  29. Watching this Mets Phillies game, I’ve spent the last 5 minutes trying and failing to figure out how the stadium can blow up and not have anyone seriously injured…

    Watching Odubel face plant and whiff diving on a ball Ender gets to makes up for it a bit.

  30. Mets/Phils 5/5 after 5…apparently after last nights game they checked tape to see if de Grom was tipping his pitches! No was the conclusion, just good hitting.

  31. And out of the flaming dumpster there emerges a hero, unbowed and unburnt: none other than Feliz Navidad!

  32. Caught the M Braves at Chattanooga last night and got to see Wentz pitch for the first time.

    He does have really good downward plane on his fastball and seems to locate it well, but I was concerned that he didn’t seem to have any other offerings that were even average. He got by with just the fastball (which he threw 85% of the time) going 4.2 innings with 7 K and 1 BB and only 1 unearned run. Couldn’t throw anything else for a strike.

    On a night when the M Braves scored 13, Didder looked completely overmatched in each at bat. He had no idea at the plate and it showed on his 0-5 night with 3 Ks against subpar pitching.

    Waters and Pache looked great in the OF and at the plate, not too many fly balls should drop in against Mississippi with this outfield as they got to everything with ease. Pache actually showed a lot of patience at the plate walking twice and working some deep counts otherwise.

    Jonathan Morales surprised me how good he looked behind the plate and with the bat. Tomahawk Take has him ranked as the #71 prospect and at 28 years old in AA, that’s understandable. But he looked like a potentially serviceable big league backup to me.

    Was looking forward to seeing CJ Alexander, but he had a rough night swinging at a bunch of bad balls and left a pretty bad impression. He did coax a couple of walks later as the game got out of hand.

  33. Both really seems at ease at the plate and showed real knowledge of the strike zone. Waters was 3-6 (all singles) with 2Ks one of which was a questionable called 3rd strike. Pache was 2-4 with two walks (one of the big knocks on him has been lack of patience). He worked a lot of deep counts and did not strike out in 6 at bats.

    Waters build reminds me of (gulp) Jordan Schafer, so I worry a little about whether he can get to enough power in the bigs. Pache surprised me how solidly built he is for all you hear about his superior defense in CF. He should be able to eventually be a 20+HR guy I think, which could make him a top 20 player in the game with his already stellar defense. I think the Braves were right to not want to part with him.

  34. If there is an issue with the Donaldson signing, it’s that it, like all of the other off-season signings for the Braves, was basically at a fraction of what everyone expected from the market. The Braves didn’t pay top dollar (or even the “going rate”) to fulfill any needs. Think back to when you all were children, and when money was tight at home, didn’t you notice when the parent(s) were only buying bargain brands and even skipping buying some of the usual stuff? The feeling around that kind of shopping is that there just isn’t enough money to meet the needs. Even while many teams were handing out minor league contracts to veteran players, the Braves stayed quiet.

    They appear to have all the needs met for now, but there’s just a feeling of skepticism that the money is really there. Like, until we see Daddy Alex reach for the Quilted Northern rather than the stuff that we can see through, we can’t be sure everything is really going to be alright…

  35. So Fried gets the start tonight. Are any of you thinking that he’ll be the first pitcher ever to go the entire season with 0 earned runs? He has put himself in that position so far. That would be pretty impressive.

  36. When Donaldson signed, only one FA year had transpired where the market was so lengthened for players. I think Donaldson knew that he wasn’t going to get the multi-year deal he deserved as he was coming off of injury, and you can just tell with Donaldson’s personality that he would be the guy to just take the best one-year deal he can get, have a great year, and then sign his multi-year deal. I don’t see how anyone can say that 1YR/$23M for Donaldson wasn’t a great deal for him.

  37. I’m not sure you meant to cast the complainers of “not doing enough, not spending enough, spending too little too spendthrifty” contingent as petulant children unappreciative of what they have, complaining that Jimmy down the street has a brand new scooter, but well, yeah. That kind of works for me too.

  38. @47 That’s really sad about Whalen. I’m not sure what an organization can actually do to help mental health (I would be really interested to see what other teams do, actually), but I can’t help but wonder if maybe being in an organization that seems to have so much synergy amongst its young pitchers like ours may have helped Whalen.

    I hope he gets the care he needs and deserves and can come back.

  39. Adequately prioritizing mental health at a structural level is really, really hard. In a small way, I think that players being open about their own health challenges, like Whalen here, does make it easier for future players to feel that they don’t need to struggle in silence, and the more players who speak up, the more that teams will realize they need to invest resources in taking care of people. Good for Whalen for opening up here.

  40. @44

    most helpful, thanks.

    @46

    don’t you dare say again, ‘you think’ we will keep Pache. Only we will!

    @47

    Outrageous indifference including his own teammates. Horrible.

    @53

    Undoubtedly, minimal redneck factor.

    @55

    Yes, good for him, never easy.

  41. Agree, Alex @55, good for him for opening up and hopefully making things “easier” to be open about this for other players.
    One would only hope that this is not seen as a weakness for active players but dealt with with the proper support within the organizations.

  42. As for Whalen and mental health; yes, AR and the contingent of people who are saying we need better mental health support in MLB are 100% correct. But on the counternote; have you guys ever actually *met* baseball players? I mean, we’re talking about a bunch of very high level super-jocks, the majority of whom never sniffed higher education, much less actually paid attention in class. This is not a prime audience for sensitivity to mental health issues. (Oddly enough, the NBA is MUCH better than the other leagues here, but they too still suck.)

  43. I don’t agree with the strategy of waiting until mid-season, and it just feels like they are kicking the can down the road and stringing us along. We could sign someone tomorrow, and I still feel it would be cheap-ass not to have had them ready for opening day. It’s certainly wouldn’t have been for baseball reasons.

    But for now I would rather focus on enjoying being wrong about Nick and Dansby so far.

  44. See, Rusty perfectly illustrates my point. Even if you point to Josh Donaldson, it’s easy to look at that deal through the scope of low-risk, high reward potential where if the Braves are out of it by the deadline, there’s a pretty good chance we’ll get a nice return by trading him.

    What the children really want is for the Braves to make decisions that seem purely motivated towards winning baseball games this season, but it still looks like there are other responsibilities and priorities that are driving the decisions from season to season. When the Braves were owned by Ted Turner, winning it all was the goal. Every year, same goal. Win it all.

    What is/are this organization’s goal(s) this season?

  45. In the 20 years that Turner owned the Braves they finished 5th or 6th in their division 11 times. I was wrong in saying they never won it all, he still owned them in 1995, but the point is, they were really bad for a long time.

  46. @59, just because many professional athletes were pulled out of school at a young age doesn’t mean that they can’t be educated now. Social stigmas are a product of society, and baseball society has changed a lot over the last century and a half.

    It’ll keep changing. Hopefully for the better.

  47. The Braves are the oldest continually operating major league team in western professional sports, and they’ve been owned by a bunch of different people. Ted is responsible for fully one-third of all of the championships we’ve ever won — the only championship the Braves have won in the last half-century that they’ve spent in the south.

    For me, he gets a pass.

  48. @62, 63 Your memory is different than mine. First off, Ted Turner owned the Braves much longer than 20 years. He didn’t stop owning them when he took over TimeWarner. If he had, 1997-2004 would have been a hell of a lot worse for the team. Instead, they enjoyed a huge payroll all those years, too, meaning Ted Turner was still the owner. He got squeezed out in a corporate leap frog maneuver that dicked the Braves over in such a bad way that we are still trying to recover from and will be until… 2027 I think?

    Yep… corporate dickery is some powerful sinful black magic.

  49. I think you can consolidate the options down to two, actually. We’re at a $114M and some change payroll, and last year, we were at around $130M and some change. And let’s just assume you’re going to pick up a Ryan Flaherty or a Peter Bourjos or a Jose Bautista or Rene Rivera and those guys will cost you around a couple million bucks or so. And you take literally what AA said that the payroll will be higher this year, but literally just by a million or two. That would technically get him off the hook, and indeed it consolidates our options:

    1) Sign Craig Kimbrel at $15M per. Enjoy the benefits of Craig Kimbrel being on your roster for all 162 games, and he helps you win the division in April and May and so forth. Great addition.
    2) You let pitchers continue to audition in the bullpen and in the rotation until July. You could find that some are busts, but some have worked out. In mid-July, Arizona is out of it, and they deal you Zack Greinke and the Angels are out of it, so they deal you Cody Allen. Oh, and because you can financially, you go ahead and take, say, Will Smith from the Giants, who also fell out of it. And because these guys are more or less worth their salaries and not much more, you pick them up for guys that were in the Brach, Venters, and Gausman deals the year previous (meaning, not much).

    Same money. Which would you rather have? In my world, that’s not kicking the can.

  50. @64 – I will concede your point to a degree, but I will maintain that no one ever went broke assuming the people were idiots, and no one ever went broke assuming guys that dedicated their entire lives from 5th grade forward to excelling at a single athletic pursuit are not at least as idiot as the general population, if not more so.

  51. @67 – Your argument is not unsound. It’s just that waiting until July to get the payroll essentially back to where it was, isn’t the strategy I was expecting. And if things don’t go well, they leave themselves an out to do nothing, versus making a commitment to start the season.

    But let’s see what happens. It might be all right.

  52. @69 I don’t get that. Touki is currently scheduled to start Thursday. Why not go with that? Let Soroka start on Saturday when Folty was originally going to go.

  53. Because Soroka is scheduled to start Wednesday at Gwinnett and it would give everyone an extra day of rest.

  54. At one point do you just completely buy in: Ronald Acuna is currently a top-3 player in baseball?

    Not rhetorical. What does he need to do and/or for how long?

  55. ” I’m sensing a little hostility from you here, Janet…”

    Braves TV ad of the year…kudos to AT&T.

  56. It’s almost like they were saving Culberson for a higher leverage spot.

    By the way, I wonder how long it took last year for Nick to get his second day off of the year? I’m really liking this.

  57. It’s possible for me to not want to sign Kimbrel but also think this bullpen is embarrassing, right?

  58. I mean, I will gladly accept the major league minimum salary to come in and walk batters all game long. Heck, throw me every day. I can be an opener. Middle reliever. Whatever you need.

    I’m a bargain at $500,000. Think of the flexibility that gives you.

  59. Luke freaking Jackson? If you believe that gasoline can douse a fire, he’s your man. Good night.

  60. Why not bring in one of the guys they brought up??? Especially with a three run lead. Winkler would have solved this problem before it began.

  61. At least Luke Jackson throws strikes. It’s refreshing compared to the others even when he’s getting lit up.

  62. I don’t fault the pitching choices. Sobotka and Biddle are not over-qualified to pitch the 7th.

  63. I think you’re pretty much at a bullpen pecking order of Parsons in the 8th and Minter in the 9th. I don’t think any of the 3 recent call-ups (Winkler, Webb, and Carle) were any more deserving of pitching the 7th after an off-day.

  64. Kimbrel only replaces one of these guys. The pen would still be a dumpster fire. The solution is for some of the starters to move to middle relief, but they wont do it.

  65. @105 Loading the bases with one out to get to a mediocre, slow catcher is not a bad idea.

  66. @107 – If Parsons started the 7th clean there probably aren’t 3 walks and 2 HBP in the inning.

  67. We are gonna have to stop ragging on Luke Jackson. He was head and shoulders better than either Sobotka or Biddle. Why didn’t they bring in Luke first? I thought he had been consistently pitching in the 5th, 6th, 7th.

  68. ‪That was Luke Jackson’s 8th-straight scoreless appearance. ‬It’s not his fault the Braves keep using him in high leverage.

  69. You know, even after that atrocious inning, the Braves would still be leading if not for that Inciarte dropped ball.

  70. Sobotka has 6 scoreless appearances and 3 dumpster fires. He’s going to struggle to be consistent with his delivery.

  71. Biddle has been pretty good this season outside of tonight. Parsons has been good. Minter has been fine. outside of one game. Jackson has been good other than one game. Viz was good but he’s hurt.

    Ozzie!

  72. @109 – in a vacuum, maybe, but when your bullpen can’t throw strikes, not having an open base seems asking for trouble.

  73. Yeah this pen is 2-3 arms away from that of a playoff contender.

    And another thing, why ca….. ALBIES!!!!

  74. 120 — Sobotka’s era is over 11 and his WHIP is over 1.50 after tonight. That’s not going to cut it.

  75. I’m all for going to whoever is in the pen — don’t even care who — if Minter walks him.

  76. Another ball in and out of the glove. Can’t figure what the deal is with that. Also, can’t imagine why Acuna was playing so far over toward center on a RH hitter that he had to run that far – especially one as good as Jones.

  77. I’ve been consistent that I didn’t think that Minter long term was a closer(tm). He’s just not.

  78. I almost wonder if at this point its one of those “We’re not going to let these *&(&()^( fans run this team” kinds of things.

  79. Nobody in this pen gives you confidence. But it’s just one bad game. Might as well suck all together at the same time. Reliever roulette will usually give us a better outcome than this.

  80. Snit’s bizarre bullpen managing doesn’t help. He still has no sense for platoon splits or leverage. And leaving Sobotka in after he hits the first two guys is borderline insane. But players love him, so yay.

  81. I like the look and the nerves of Mr. Webb…and the velocity.

    Regarding the Acuna dropped catch costing 2 big runs. I have little doubt that AA/Snit gave him a specific directive at the start of the season regarding avoiding the spectacular when at full speed at 90degrees to a wall and running out of space. Wouldn’t you have, if you were them?

    There’s no comparison between a couple of runs given up in an evening and weeks/months lost with him of all people on the IL. He got to the point in the play where he felt he would need two hands to push back against the wall so the glove was partially opened, likely instinctively, to maximize its protective effect. He did what he had been told to do. So thinks me anyway.

  82. @67 I’ll take option 1. I want Kimbrel in a Braves uniform, yesterday if possible. Last night’s game does nothing but reinforce that point. If I was in STP, I’d have been chanting right along.

    It’s inexcusable to be giving away games to the Diamondbacks of the world.

  83. This isn’t really in response to anything prior in the thread, more just amazing for a Florida Panhandle Auburn grad, in DOB’s latest:

    “Yeah, well, people on social media aren’t very smart, for the most part,” Donaldson said this week. “Second off, I’ve felt great going into this season, body-wise. And that was the most important part. Left spring training feeling really good. My swing wasn’t necessarily where I wanted it to be going out of spring training, but like I said, I felt like I was able to throw up some really quality at-bats. I don’t know how many times I’ve walked, but I feel like I’ve walked a ton already. And if you pay attention to our games you see the quality of the at-bats I’m putting together day in and day out. I think I had a stretch, too, where I hit eight balls over 100 miles an hour, and I had one hit to show for it.”

    https://theathletic.com/929052/2019/04/17/josh-donaldson-brash-outspoken-but-a-good-fit-with-these-braves/

    Starts out complaining about social media, then starts talking about walk rates and exit velocity. Friends, it’s a whole new world out there.

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