Not Quite Good Enough: Braves 3 – Padres 4

The Padres’ pitcher, Paddock, was pretty incredible through four – just allowing one well-placed RBI single to Ender-replacement Matt Joyce (I am getting really tired of Chip saying that every hit or AB Markakis has is “a professional hit”). He was every bit as good as Soroka. As is his pattern sometimes, Julio pitched up (or down) to the competition.  Yes, as predicted by some commenters, he decided to pitch pretty well. With the exception of the Franimal who had two solo shots and a RBI double. Julio handled most everyone else with aplomb. He made one lousy mistake, a walk before the Franimal’s double. Naturally, Paddock stranded the one walk he allowed through four.  But, overall, both teams allowed only one walk each total, so the pitching was quite good.

In a huge surprise, Julio stuck out the side in the 5th as opposed to giving up a handful of runs and we had a real pitching duel on our hands at 2-2 after 5.  Of course, one thing I must mention is the last minute lineup change that had Donaldson on the bench with ….. c’mon everyone together now…….  a sore calf.  As I rolled my eyes upon hearing this, I just hope that it is nothing and JD will not go on the IL.

And just as I’m heaping praise on Julio, the Franimal comes up in the 6th and jerks his second out to make it 3-2.  Can someone tell me why Julio gave Franimal anything to hit after the first HR and double?  Someone’s not paying attention like they should.  Hosmer also hit a solo shot after that to make it 4-2.  With the Padres pitching staff, I’m wasn’t sure the Braves would get any more.  Julio almost made a quality start but he just couldn’t quite get there.  I have to wonder if we traded Julio to SF as part of a package for MadBum if he wouldn’t pitch better at PacBell.  Even pitching 7 innings, 8Ks, and 1 walk (only one walk!!), giving up four runs is not good (5 hits including 4 ExBH).  His ERA is basically the same as it was before the game – well over 5.00.

The Padres brought in their version of Sobotka, Trey Wingenter, a tall lanky guy that couldn’t throw a strike.  Camargo swung at a pitch that bounced 10ft in front of the plate and then popped up a meatball right down the middle.   Wingerter hit Brian McCann on the first pitch and then allowed a single to Matt Joyce.  Unfortunately, Ender pinch hit and K’d after getting to 3-0.  Then Wingenter, unlike Sobotka, found the strike zone and Ozzie grounded out.

Winkler made short work of the 8th, albeit with the help of an amazing diving catch by Camargo.  Fortunately, our guys woke up in the 8th and Dansby smacked a double to LF.  Freddie hit a rope but right at the LF.  Acuna, the man of the hour, barreled a ball to LC for a run-scoring single.  The Braves were only down one.

Our newest reliever, Grant Dayton, came on in the ninth and got three outs on three pitches (with a DP).  If he can pitch like that more often, we have another guy we might be able to count on.  BMac started our half of the 9th with a rope that could have been a double if he could run.  Against Yates, the NL leader in saves, that seemed like a great start.  But after a CS by Culby (pinch-running for BMac – ugh, if only BMac could have turned that into a double) and a K by TFlow as the PH, Yates ended the Braves’ hopes and the game.  The only thing I have to say about that is Mejia has an unbelievable gun behind the plate.  In the end, the Braves were just not quite good enough.

64 thoughts on “Not Quite Good Enough: Braves 3 – Padres 4”

  1. Meija’s poptime on that throw was 1.68. JT Realmuto led all of baseball last year with an average 1.90 poptime.

  2. Talking about how good of a throw it was is just missing the bigger point that he shouldn’t have been trying to steal there to begin with.

    Maybe Albies would have hit a walk-off home run with Culberson on first, or a game-tying single after Joyce sacrificed him to second. Too bad we’ll never know.

  3. @1 Pop Time.

    Everything is relative.

    Say there was a regular hi-exposure event at the Olympic Games, the 25 yard men’s dash. And that the world record for that event which had stood since the last Games was 1.90 seconds.And then this kid shows up and wins the final in 1.68 seconds.That is a seismic improvement in percentage terms, he is miles ahead of the field.

    So what we saw last night was special but not only because of its power and speed. It was an act of coordinated, complex athletic grace that boggled the mind due to the speed and power with which it was performed. They should virtually preserve it for posterity at MOMA!

    Poor Charlie! Penny for his thoughts as he was sliding, approaching second.

  4. Small crowd last night. My brother and I were the only ones in our row.

    SD has a ton of outfielders. Wonder who -if any- gets traded this season. Also, I never realized how big Margot is. I thought he was a slender guy. Nope. Built like a rock.

  5. @4 That’s about 500 points higher than yours. :)

    Really liked seeing Dayton out there. His outings were sporadic at AAA, so some speculation is that he’s not completely healthy. But glad he’s here now, he has options, and he can get on the shuffle.

    Am I alone or does anyone else really loathe the new milb sites’ format on both desktop and mobile? The app is horrible and unusable now.

  6. Jose De Paula, according to Peanut, had some sort of shot to crack the roster out of ST. Of course, he did not, but he’s pitched in 8 games at AAA: 12.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 7 BB (ugh), and 17 K’s. 1.42 ERA. He’s only had 1 BB in his last 5 innings after walking the stadium in an early outing. He had a cup of coffee with the Yanks in 2015, also walked the stadium, but managed to only give up 1 R in 3.1 IP. His real age still seems to be unknown; B-Ref says he’s 31; MILB.com says he’s 27.

  7. For all our pitching potential and drafting acumen, I find it ironic that San Diego seems to have more better young pitchers and one of our two best we got from San Diego.

    Also, San Diego has brought Wisler back and making some use of him. Still gives up too many HRs but has 10Ks in 10 innings with 2 walks. He pitches every bit as good as Julio for whatever that’s worth.

  8. @2 I noticed that after I posted. The more interesting stat is Winkler/Dayton = 11 pitches, 9 strikes and two clean innings. I could live with relievers like that.

  9. I would have wished that the bat would not have been taken out of Albies’ hands in the 9th, but it took a perfect throw, not just in poptime but in accuracy. If Culberson had stolen second, we’d have had two cracks at getting the tying run in with no risk of a double play. Pitcher probably gets rattled, he might groove one to Joyce (even with 2 strikes) or Albies. If it was anything less than a perfect throw, it’d have worked out. I think that’s a good risk.

  10. For all our pitching potential and drafting acumen, I find it ironic that San Diego seems to have more better young pitchers and one of our two best we got from San Diego.

    Alex has done really good work on either debunking or at least punching some holes in whether or not we are indeed good at developing pitchers. I think we will know by the end of this year if we are good at developing pitchers. The 2015/2016 trades and drafts will be in full bloom, and we either succeeded or we didn’t by the end of 2019.

  11. Snit made a good move to pinch-run Culby and pinch hit Flowers (Flowers would have replaced BMac anyway). But I wonder what would have happened if he had done something like pinch-running Fried (or Soroka) and letting Culby have a shot at the bat or saving Culby for later……

  12. It’s a RHP on the mound, so I don’t hate hitting Joyce, and I think Flowers vs. Culberson doesn’t have a clear answer. If you think Culberson is better in a PH role, then yes, but I think it’s within the margin of error to decide either way. If he left Matt Franco on the bench to PH Fernando Lunar, that wouldn’t be ok, IMO.

  13. San Diego built a cave by the ocean for their pitchers to toe the bump; I used to draft Clayton Richard in fantasy baseball because San Diego is such a ridiculously pitcher-friendly park in such a ridiculously pitcher-friendly division (LA and SF are also insanely hitter-unfriendly).

    Don’t give the Friars too much credit for their pitching. Smitty could post a 4.30 ERA in Petco.

  14. I’ve always thought the Cubs had the best model for a rebuild, by acquiring and developing young position players, and later buying and trading for your pitching. It’s just hard to groom young starting pitching with any sort of consistent success rate. Even the 90’s Braves really only developed Glavine through the system. Maybe you could make a case for Avery, but he flamed out.

    The Braves are about a mile down this road now though, and as others have said, it’s soon about time to see how they did. I really like Wright and Anderson, and Freid surprised me. If just 2 or 3 of the young pitchers turn out though, that’s pretty good considering the Braves struck oil on the position side of things twice.

  15. “They say that Austin Riley guy has some really good power.”

    “Yeah, well, good for Austin Rileyohhhhmygawwwwwsh”

  16. ESPN’s giving out grades for the first month of the season, and this feels about right.

    Atlanta Braves: C

    Best storyline: The emergence of young starters Max Fried (2.30 ERA in 31.1 innings) and Mike Soroka (1.62 ERA through three starts) gives the Braves a potential one-two dynamo at the top of the rotation — helping to cover for the bad starts of Sean Newcomb and Kyle Wright that sent that pair back to Triple-A.

    Mulligan: Hello, Craig Kimbrel? No, the Braves couldn’t have anticipated the season-ending injury to Arodys Vizcaino, the projected closer, but even before that injury there were concerns about this bullpen. Through Monday, the Braves’ bullpen ranked 28th in the majors in win probability added — they’ve led in 11 of their losses. But, hey, good to see Liberty Media stock going up in value.

    http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/26636376/from-plus-wait-f-minus-first-month-grades-all-30-teams

  17. Through Monday, the Braves’ bullpen ranked 28th in the majors in win probability added — they’ve led in 11 of their losses. But, hey, good to see Liberty Media stock going up in value.

    Good God. They’ve really blown eleven games already, and they haven’t even played a game in May yet?

  18. @25 I’ve said it somewhere, maybe here, but April is a huge missed opportunity. The Braves should be sitting on top of at least a 4 game lead in the NL East instead of looking up from 2 games back.

  19. IMO, sign FA pitchers, develop position players in the miLBs.

    The reason that I think its harder to project pitchers in general is because you physically see them less. Even relievers appear in what maybe half the games if not 40%.

    Position players are mostly known commodities.

  20. @27 I see nothing wrong in developing pitchers, but you’ve got to be willing to spend and supplement to fill gaps via free agency or trades. It may well be that the Braves hit on Folty, Fried, and Soroka, but we all know that injury is likely to take at least one of these away from us. It will hurt a lot less if we find our version of Jon Lester and acquire him.

  21. @18 I think that’s a pretty harsh assessment. There were plenty of very good pitchers who came through the system. And Avery counts. Mercker, Stanton, Wohlers, Borbon, Millwood, Lightenberg, Rocker. I know I’m missing ones, but right there, that with Glavine makes nine in ten years. I bet most organizations would take that.

    Then there are the ones that were ML ready that ATL developed, like Schmidt and Greene. Marquis and Odalis Perez. Then there’s Smoltz. Mazzone was key in his development.

  22. @29 what they’re missing is expectations. The Braves didn’t just have three pretty good pitchers at the top of the rotation in the 90s. They had three bona fide HOF’ers for more than 10 years. And, even then, people complained about Smoltz, the guy who never quite reached his potential until the 27-win year and was always injured. When expectations are set that high, it’s hard to really appreciate the Millwoods, Marquis’, and Stantons that were really good for a really long time.

    Of course, I and everyone else wants to win and it’s the pitching we need to have to get there. Hence the enormous frustration right now.

  23. That was a pretty good pitch that Machado hit out. High fastball on the black. But Machado is Machado.

  24. Nothing like swinging at a 3-0 pitch to hit into an inning-ending double play. What a gift to their rookie pitcher.

  25. Camargo isn’t hitting any better than Outciarte right now.

    Fried has lost a few ticks of velocity since the first.

  26. This used to happen with AA and AAA. You’d have a new young, hot arm starting almost every night. 4 out of 5 nights right now, you’ve got Fried, Soroka, Folty, and Gausman, and someone will inevitably replace Teheran soon. This is what we were waiting on, and it’s pretty much here. Good outing by Fried so far.

  27. Fried has successfully relied on his curve and slider the last couple of innings.

  28. I’m not really seeing other than injury or fatigue that will keep Fried from continuing to be at least an above average pitcher. I wouldn’t consider his BABIP, strand rate, K/BB/HR %, etc. to be anything that is unsustainable, though you could argue his K rate is not real high (7.47/9). But it’s not like he’s getting lucky in some area where you can say that it’s smoke and mirrors.

  29. And with that, Webb joins the long line of ball-throwers. But Tomlin will not give in.

  30. Matt Wisler just retired the best utility player in baseball. Guy can deal.

  31. Matt Wisler just wisely walked… ah, I’m not even going to say it. He walked an old catcher.

  32. Some rebuilding team is going to give Wisler a shot in the rotation, and he’s going to become Charlie Morton.

    Took me forever to find that part of the movie. Had to settle for doing a timestamp.

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