The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves – Braves 2 – DBags 3

I wanted to start out with something clever, because our group of writers are all very good and witty, but the team is just uninspiring right now. In fact, in the time I should have spent writing this recap, I found myself watching Rick and Morty clips, because that’s how I feel right now. I feel like AA is Rick Sanchez, and we are all his Morty. Bowman is Jerry. Of course, he is Jerry.

So about last night’s game. I didn’t watch the first five innings of it. Soroka was pitching really well from what I’ve heard. He apparently didn’t have his best stuff, but from what I saw he was doing the things you expect from a top of the rotation guy. In the sixth inning, he had runners on first and second and was a couple of outs from getting out of the inning. No problem. A grounder to third later, and they were out of the inning on a double play.

I hung with the telecast until the 8th inning when I really needed to go to bed. In the span of time that I watched, I saw Arizona rob the Braves of two home runs and a base hit on excellent, but unlucky for the Braves, defensive plays. Shrug.

The team is just two games under .500, and so far they have managed to fail on all cylinders. When the starting pitching clunks, they lose by nine. When the starting pitching is good and the bats are effective, the bullpen clunks and we lose by one. When the starting and relief pitching are both good, the bats are no where to be found and we lose. The rest of the time is just baseball.

Let’s go back to Alex Anthopolous, though. Where is this team at? It’s May 10th, and the team is four games back in the standings. I anticipate this team will go on a tear. I also expect we will make a deal some time in the next seven weeks. Why in the next seven weeks? Mostly because I don’t think we can wait for eight weeks to do something if we’re serious about being in contention this year.

I think there’s a solid probability of the Braves signing Kimbrel, but I don’t expect that will be the cornerstone deal that the team will make this year. I’m also not pretending that this cornerstone deal will definitely be great. It will be something.

I’ll leave you all, my fellow brothers in misery, with one last shining quote.

“I didn’t fail. I just forgot to win.”- Rick Sanchez

33 thoughts on “The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves – Braves 2 – DBags 3”

  1. Well said, Donny.

    Newk looked good and has pitched well against teams that right now are better than we are. Soroka’s a shining beacon, and Max will take his regular start; but …

    As of today, Folty and Julio both suck. I’d rather their turns be taken by kids. Then again, I’m not Job.

    Johan needs to play, and Ender needs to sit.

    Minter needs time in Gwinnett, and Kimbrel needs time in our bullpen.

    Other than that, I’m happy. Not happy enough to watch left coast games to the bitter end, mind, but still pleased with my team’s likely tomorrow. Just wish it were today.

    Go Braves.

  2. @1 I agree with nearly everything you said.

    The only part we differ is that I wouldn’t pull Folty from any starts. He’s pretty fresh off returning, and really deserves at least two more starts to try to get going.

  3. I agree on Newcomb. He looked really good out of the pen. His time in the pen could really benefit him. His inning of work was so clean I forgot about him, and that’s exactly the relief appearance you want from him. I think at one point I saw he had made 10 of 14 pitches for strikes.

    If he ever gets such that the weak contact stays fair, he could take advantage of the easy outs that TOR starters live off of.

    Re: Folty. I just hope the worries about his elbow are overblown. I hate seeing such talent flame out because of arm issues. It’s too common in today’s game.

  4. When you look at all the arm injuries pitchers suffer now, you’d think people around baseball would start to wonder if maybe they’re not putting too much emphasis on those radar gun readings? Look at how pitching has changed…

    *Guys used to pitch 7-8 innings, and now it’s like 5-6 at most

    *Tommy John Surgery is almost a given

    *So many young pitchers are on strict innings limits that they never really get built up

    The art of throwing a baseball is an unnatural motion as it is, let alone trying to do it at 101 mph. Maybe more organizations should go back to teaching command, changing speeds and strategy versus just scouting for guys with big arms, and trying to coach them into blowing it past the hitter? I just see the stuff with Folty, and some of the other Braves young pitchers, and it makes you think…

  5. A steady stream of young guys throwing 100 mph who get hurt before they get really expensive … sounds like a management dream.

  6. Yep. A a dream come true on the financial side of things.

    @4 I think it has come about in response to other factors. The modern strike zone is watched far more closely than before thanks to advances in technology, so it most certainly shrunk some. Pitchers have found more success pitching north/south, and that requires more velocity. Defenses began relying on data to shift on hitters, so hitters are now hitting the ball with a greater launch angle, which is only going to further fuel the need to throw hard and have better vertical movement.

    If they will just expand the zone on the corners and allow pitchers to be more deceptive on the edges, that will reintroduce more of the craft of pitching.

    In exchange, restrict the defensive shifts. I don’t want to see three defenders standing between first base and second base anymore. If a hitter pulls the ball a lot, fine. Let the pitcher figure out how to pitch him.

  7. Have we had a high percentage of pitching injuries? That’s one area I thought we’ve been particularly lucky, considering our strategy. Have there been any studies on this and where we come in on this?

  8. Drop the QO on one-year deals. If you can make a deal at one-year, don’t kill the team, but if you sign the guy to a multi-year deal, you lose the pick.

  9. I don’t think we’ve been bitten by the pitching injury bug more than average so far, but I think the injuries to Minor, Beachy, and Medlen are still very fresh in our minds.

  10. The previous administration blamed Roger McDowell, and I recall any serious arm injuries among our major leaguers (other than Viz) since he left.

  11. Those three names mentioned in @9 still very much come to mind. Viz, more recently. I also wonder if something’s ailing Minter? I expected some rocky outings from him because I’ve never been sold on him as a Closer, but he looks just terrible.

    I was also looking at some of the other names around baseball, too.

    Folty’s also a guy that I had in mind, as well. His injury wasn’t velo related. He had a telling quote though where he said, “I was sitting there early in the game. It’s a little discouraging when after all this hard work, it’s 97 or 98 in the first and it kind of drops off in the later innings. If that’s the case, we’re just going to have to learn to pitch like that. But I really think the velo is going to get back.”

    He just sounded like a guy who didn’t know what to do without those high 90s readings on the gun.

  12. I really like Folty as a starter. He reminds me a lot of Smoltz. Good heater, maybe a little bit of a mental or emotional block. Tons of talent, though

    That said, Smoltz was a great closer, too. I don’t hate the idea, I’m just hoping they don’t rush anything.

  13. Folty didn’t have a Spring Training. I thought his stuff was better last time out than it had been. Not much choice but to give him more time.

    Albies has the 2nd worst OBP among the regulars, so it is a good idea to get him out of the leadoff spot.

  14. What is with the Braves? 5 of 6 hitters have taken 1st pitch FB strikes right down the middle at 89mph. Greinke has not thrown anything higher than 90mph and those have been balls.

  15. @17 – I mean, Julio is sitting 86-87 and has gone 6 up, 6 down. Baseball is hard (and weird), I guess?

  16. Julio doesn’t have any velocity tonight but appears to have good control and command. His 2 seamer is moving a good bit.

  17. Winkler is back. 22 pitches, 17 strikes and he only threw that many because of Ozzie’s error.

  18. 19 pitches and 14 strikes for Newcomb. I don’t know how he suddenly has become a strike throwing machine but I like it.

  19. Why not give Newk a second inning? He was really good in the 8th.

    I don’t care how good Jackson has been; he’s not a closer and never will be.

  20. Well, Newcomb has never thrown back to back days before. A 2nd inning might be pushing it.

  21. Luke Jackson looked great there in the ninth. Looked very determined. He suddenly has great stuff. Acuna had hit the ball a lot harder the past four or five games. Great performance by Good Julio – Gulio? Now we just need Gausman to start pitching better tomorrow.

  22. The Phillies’ schedule has been ridiculously easy so far. They have the fewest games against .500+ competition and, except for the Indians, it’s not even close. I wonder of someone could win this division with a record under .500……..

  23. I liked tonight’s batting order a lot. Hopefully they’ll stay with that awhile.

  24. Swanson’s slugging percentage is now slightly better than Acuna at .500. I can definitely live with that.

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