I Like Mike

I have a proprietary interest in Mike Soroka because I attended his MLB debut last year.  There’s very little not to like of what we’ve seen of Mike.  In tonight’s game he gave up a walk and two singles to yield a run to the first three batters; after that, he was My Soroka: 109 pitches, 6.2 IP, 7K, though he left the game with the bases loaded.  Nice work, young man.  My granddaughter is 6 years younger than Soroka; if he’s willing to wait until she’s out of college, I think I could set them up.  He should be quite wealthy by then.

Josh Tomlin threw one high leverage pitch to Schebler, who scorched it to Freddy for the third out.  Luke Jackson continued his forced march to competence in an inning with a walk and a double play. Winkler pitched a perfect 8th and Minter a perfect 9th. Luke Winkter may not be O’Ventbrel yet, but they were tonight.

The Reds started with their Fountainhead who joined the Reds this year after 6 years in DC.  Ozzie hit the opening pitch 400 feet and Puig misplayed a sinking liner by Markakis to score Acuna and give the Braves a 2-1 lead in the 5th.  I haven’t heard much about Bobby Cox’s condition, but it would have been interesting to have seen the 1990’s Bobby manage the 2010’s Puig: the immovable object meets the irresistible force. Get well, Bobby.

Ozzie led off the 9th with a walk and sailed around the bases on a JD double to give the Braves a minor Minter mistake margin.  He didn’t need it.  3-1 final. Rubber game tomorrow.

Chipism of the day: “He was in the right place at the right time.” (Said of Suarez when a line drive was hit right to him.)  What exactly does “at the right time” add to this phrase which he uses constantly?  Yes, I suppose if he’d had to dive over there after the ball went into left field one could argue he was in the right place, just too late.  But it’s a stupid phrase, which pretty much describes why Chip uses it at least once every game.

Author: JonathanF

Alive since 1956. Braves fan since 1966. The first ten years were pretty much wasted. Exiled to Yankees/Mets territory in 1974 --- bearable only with TBS followed by MLB.TV.

60 thoughts on “I Like Mike”

  1. Well done, JonathanF. Well done, Braves. Win the series tomorrow, just like Bobby always said.

  2. Luke Jackson has a 3.18 ERA and 10 straight scoreless appearances, and you don’t.

  3. back from it all…wasn’t it lovely.

    noticed a few things only…Acuna does not run max out on ground balls to first…even ones at that pace which take him within a stride of the bag…most impressed with BMac, the way he communicated with the infield and pitchers…Nick and Dansby are on fire in the most solid of ways i.e. solid contact…RAJ is not..as Rob said, get going…Margaritas at $12, bad beer @ $9.25…draught Guinness @$7 a pint still.OUTSIDE the park.

  4. Did you see Soroka hit a hard line drive to rt field? not the contact of a ‘let me get outa here’ pitcher. Freddie, though playing a great first base defensively tonight, had no effect offensively on the outcome of a close game, once again…Ender did, back to back… Dansby, as someone has also said, absurdly unlucky…as someone has also said, JD carries with his bat the wrath of Kahn…what that ends up costing us we shall have to wait and see…A gin and tonic back at home in the early hours of the morning tastes really good – because it hasn’t cost $12. I’m a Scot.

  5. Blazon,
    Here’s hoping you some day old bday wishes. Hope the g&t is going down smoothly.

  6. @7

    thank you, yes…at 2am it continues to resonate. The same one, though in all fairness it was LARGE to start with. But i can still type of a sorts! Goodnight to all.

    PS I got totally lost leaving the ball park tonight in what became driving rain, low clouds and at one point ended up me talking to a charming young policewoman – the second cop of the night- to whom i admitted my problem. She soon put me right but not before she said , ‘I hope you don’t mind but i’m going to phone in just a few basic details of you and your car. We have been told to do this for every elderly person we find at night who seems lost and confused.” Perfect.

  7. Much rain this evening after the game – bad forecast most of the day tomorrow but another 6.40 start if that is going to make any difference and help. The doubleheader option is gone of course. Two into one does not go of course, particularly if both of the two no longer exist, as a pair.

  8. the double ‘of course’ is a sure sign that the libation is gradually winning. I have enjoyed talking with all my friends. Peace.

  9. Chief posted 5 times on yesterday’s loss… Anyone want odds on him matching that on today’s win?

  10. I thought we’d be under .500 at the end of April, and I was ok with that, and I’m even more ok with the possibility that we will be above .500 when the month ends. #HotTakes

  11. It’s still a huge missed opportunity for the Braves. They could be sitting 4 games up on the NL East by now. Instead, we are just in the thick of it, merely competitive as some would put it. ;-)

  12. 90% of the money they’ve spent on the bullpen has burned up. I just simply can’t throw away that fact. Is it not pretty close to equal odds that one Craig Kimbrel will get injured vs. ALL THREE of O’Day, Venters, and Vizzy going down? One or two, sure, but all 3 before mid-April? That hurts. If one of those three were healthy and could take the ball, that would have a big impact right about now.

  13. But what’s our hit rate on guys we scooped up on minor league or league minimum deals? I don’t see why we’re not exploring more options.

  14. I would think it’s a 40-man problem. There is not one single person on the 40-man I would recommend cutting loose for a 32-year old minor league FA that before teams started tanking they might have tendered a major league contract (let’s call him Matt Capps). I would not be willing to cut anyone loose off the 40-man to make room for Matt Capps to see if he has any gas left in AAA.

    http://m.braves.mlb.com/roster/40-man/

    Because on that 40-man, Luiz Gohara, Grant Dayton, Sean Newcomb, Kyle Wright, Huascar Ynoa, Touki Toussaint, and Shane Carle are the only pitchers not on the active roster, and I think ALL of them, every single one, is more likely to help the team within the next few weeks in the pen than Matt Capps will. And ALL of them will be better options long-term than Matt Capps will.

    Also, I’d like Craig Kimbrel.

  15. Rob,

    Maybe we can clear one spot on 40 by putting Gohara on 60 day DL? He would still be eligible to be activated around May 28. Latest reports he is still throwing some in extended spring training. I think even if he started throwing in games next week that there is a good argument he won’t be “ready” before that.

    But, your point is well taken. I would have let one of the lower tier guys you mentioned go for Gio (Carle or maybe Dayton) or would have been o.k. with a trade to clear a spot for Gio, but not for dreck. Sign dreck to minor league deals or don’t bother.

  16. Carle has options and has some of the best average velo on the team, surprisingly. I see a lot in Carle. Obviously not in high leverage, but he’s a multi-inning middle guy, and while we have too many, he’s still valuable. But agreed; for the right guy, you would probably have to let one of these guys go.

    They’re just been bitten by injuries. Every team in baseball is trying to run through relievers with options. Every team is trying to collect high upside pitching prospects with the intent to “settle” for them being relievers. And we’re just doing it on a bigger scale, and so far better. But this is just a bad time right now. They also probably feel like some of these injuries can be a blessing in disguise that they’ll be fresh late in the season. Of all the things we were last year, we were not fresh late in the season.

  17. Vizcaino and Jonny Venters are two of the most-frequently-injured relievers in baseball over the last decade. Venters has more TJ surgeries than anyone ever. And O’Day was acquired on the IL. If you were going to bet on any reliever ever to remain healthy, you shouldn’t bet on Jonny Venters or Arodys Vizcaino, and you shouldn’t base your roster strategy around a guy you acquire while he’s injured.

    Max Fried, Kolby Allard, and other top pitching prospects were acquired with known injury concerns, and it makes sense to fill up your minor leagues with these lottery tickets — some pan out and others don’t. That’s a strategy you can follow for the 40-man, not the 25-man.

  18. But all 3? I get that all of them individually are great bets to get injured, but all 3? Simultaneously? And indefinitely (or, I guess, permanently, for Vizzy’s sake, at least as far as him in Atlanta)? I don’t think I would have put money on all 3 being injured by mid-April. That’s all I’m saying.

  19. @23, I think it is unreasonable to expect Vizzy or Venters to complete a full season at any point.

    For his four full seasons, Vizzy has never pitched 60 innings and has only once pitched more than 40. Last year, Jonny Venters threw 34 innings; it was the first time he had pitched in the majors in six years.

    Depending on Vizcaino, who has multiple TJ surgeries and has battled injuries every year he’s been in the majors, was crazy (though he at least was backed up by Minter). Depending on Jonny Venters, a man who did not pitch between 2012 and 2018, was certifiably insane.

  20. @23 If all three are good bets to be injured, then, yes, collectively the three are a greater risk of all three being hurt at the same time…

    Did I read your question correctly?

  21. Unless all 3 are a 100% risk to be injured, it’s mathematically impossible for all 3 to be just as likely to get injured collectively. But it’s obviously a high number regardless, so it’s just matter of whether or not it was worth it to risk it.

  22. Well it’s almost a guarantee that Viz and Venters will be injured in any given season. Viz is typically just a walking triage unit, if we’re going to be honest. O’Day was already hurt going into the year. So the question you’re really asking Rob is would it be close to equal odds that Venter’s injury comes before one might to Kimbrel, which I would’ve bet a Coke on.

  23. I’ve gotten copies of Anthopolous’ scouting reports on all of the Braves relievers, and I’ll share with the group…

    Poor control.
    Injury risk.
    GREAT financial flexibility.

    That is all. Draw your own conclusions.

  24. Funny, I recently received the amended and updated scouting reports from AA. They all read…

    Acceptable control.
    Acceptable injury risk.
    GREAT financial flexibility.

    10/10, would roll with again!

    Draw your own conclusions, ladies and gents.

  25. Neck does make sense at leadoff.
    And I’m glad to see Camargo in the lineup. He has not gotten as many starts as I thought he would. And nothing wrong with giving Ozzie a day off. But doesn’t it seem odd to sit Ozzie and start Ender against a lefty?

  26. @22: Way better than any bat flip. But the next at bat between those two is going to be very interesting.

  27. Big fan of The Neck at the top. Let’s be honest: Neck, Mullet, Buzz, and Prodigy is a formidable top of the order. Also, Ender has like the 5th-highest sprint speed. He’s not exactly a burner.

  28. Julio doing Julio things. Give up a hit to the pitcher and then a walk and a single…smh

  29. Bases loaded no one out and still no runs scored after two strikeouts. Remind me again why we let David Hernandez go for nothing???

    Snakebit. We are snakebit with men on base. We can’t for the love of Mike score anyone from 3rd with less than two outs. That might have been a good time for Ender to bunt.

  30. Before the start of the second game there was a gathering of a local group on the field devoted to those with Parkinsons. Shuffling around was a tall, greying black man who still towered above the others, Dave Parker, the cobra.

    Memories of mid seventy games at Fulton County Stadium with Willy Stargel and others from his team. My first live ML game in there somewhere, with the Pirates. Parker was feared in those days above all others.

    Wash came out of the dugout, the two embraced and talked with gusto for several minutes. Nice.

  31. We need to change the top half of our batting order to conform with who is hitting and who is not.

    Albies LH (Swanson RH )
    Markakis
    FF
    Swanson/Albies
    Acuna

    Once you come to realize you’re not cock of the hoop for now you’ll grow up in a hurry. Freddie too must take a hard look. Let’s get real and rediscover those rbis.

  32. We need to change the top half of our batting order to conform with who is hitting and who is not.

    Albies LHP (Swanson RH )
    Markakis
    Swanson/Albies
    FF
    Acuna

    Once you come to realize you’re not cock of the hoop for now you’ll grow up in a hurry and then move up in a hurry. Freddie too must take a hard look, power??. Let’s get real and rediscover those rbis.

  33. This was in November before the Markakis signing, but boy has this proven to be way off:

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