Atlanta 12, Milwaukee 8

Back in the early 80s, when I was a college freshman, I was wandering through the Intimate Bookshop in downtown Chapel Hill and came across something called The Baseball Abstract by someone called Bill James. I picked it up and was immediately entranced, so I took some of my beer money and bought it. I don’t remember a lot of that particular year’s version (I think it was the ’82 edition), but the one article that has stuck with me all these years was a study Bill did on big innings. It seems he found that in a statistically significant number of games the winning team had one inning where they scored more runs than the losing team would score the entire game. Last night was just the latest (if extreme) example of that long-ago discovery by The Father of Sabremetrics.

Atlanta opened the scoring in the bottom of the 1st with some small ball deluxe. Ronald Acuna Jr. led off with a hustle double. He was advanced to third on a Dansby Swanson fly ball and scored when Freddie Freeman grounded to second. Get’em on, get ’em over, get ’em in.

In the bottom of the 2nd, the Braves continued with the small ball routine. Three straight singles by Nick Markakis, Austin Riley, and Tyler Flowers led to a bases loaded no out situation. Ozzie Albies flew out to left scoring Markakis for a 2-0 lead. Max Fried bunted Flowers and Riley over, and the Brewers walked Acuna, but Swanson couldn’t deliver the big two out hit.

To open the 3rd, FabFive Freddie dispensed with the ticky tack approach, and launched a lead off bomb into the Chop House. 3-0. But, despite the Braves loading the bases again with two outs, they couldn’t add on as this time Fried struck out.

Things were feeling a bit uncomfortable despite the 3-0 lead. I mean, we had had base runners all over the place, and Milwaukee was one of the hotter teams in the league. But, Mad Max 2.0 was in control. He worked around some 3rd inning trouble, getting Christian Yelich to ground out with 2 down and men on first and second. Meanwhile the Braves seemed to go into Hibernation Mode against Jhoulys Chacin, going in order in the 4th, and only managing a two out bloop single by That Man, Mr. Riley, in the 5th.

When Fried issued a lead off walk to Eric Thames to start the 6th, followed by a passed ball, and with the top of the Brewers order looming, things seemed set to take a bad turn. But, a Lorenzo Cain ground out, a Yelich fly ball, and a Ryan Braun grounder ended any threat, and the Braves were set to have the Inning of the Decade in the bottom of the 6th. (Welll, not quite a decade, it WAS three days shy of 10 years since they had had as big an inning, but what’s three days among friends?)

Ozzie led off with a double to left. Fried tried to bunt him to third, but Corbin Burnes tried to pick off Ozzie and threw the ball into center. With Ozzie at third, Fried then took 4 wide pitches and walked. Acuna singled Ozzie home, then Dansby broke out of an 0-17 slump with a three run blast just over the left center fence. After Freddie struck out, Josh Donaldson launched one into the Braves’ bullpen for the fifth run of the inning. Markakis followed with a walk, then after Riley proved he’s not a cyborg by striking out, Tyler Flowers crushed a two run jack, chasing Burnes. 2/3 of an inning, 5 hits, 3 homers, 2 walks, 7 runs. I expect we’ll trade for him tomorrow as he’d fit right into our pen.

Despite the three Rally Killers, Atlanta wasn’t through with the inning. Ozzie dribbled one to second that he beat out. Fried doubled down the left field line, and Acuna came up with the final blow, a two out single for his second single of the inning and his second and third RBIs. Dansby flew out to right to end the slaughter 36 minutes after the inning started. 12-0 Braves.

Snit took out Fried after that long inning, and the pen showed why there’s no lead too safe for us this year. Josh Tomlin came in and got the first two outs quickly, but gave up three straight singles to lose the shutout. In the 8th Tomlin gave up a lead off single to Cain, then Mike Moustakas doubled him to third. A Braun groundball scored Cain, and Tomlin gave up a two run shot to Jacob Nottingham. 12-4 Braves.

In the 9th Jonny Venters came in to finish up, and he struck out the first two Brewers. A two out walk should have been no issue as Venters got Cain to ground the ball to Dansby, but Swanson let the ball go right through the wickets and Milwaukee was still alive. A walk to Moustakas loaded the bases, and Braun drove in two with a single. Wes Parsons came in and he couldn’t get the last out. A walk to Jose Aguilar and a Jacob Nottingham single and all of a sudden it’s 12-8 and Luke Jackson has to come in to strike out Hernan Perez to secure a save for a game the Braves led 12-0 going into the 7th. Sheesh. Although, to be fair if Swanson hadn’t booted the ball it would’ve only been 12-4.

But, all’s well that ends well. Atlanta sends Kevin Gausman out tonight after he’s served his suspension against Chase Anderson.

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82 thoughts on “Atlanta 12, Milwaukee 8”

  1. Anyone know how common it is for a pitcher to reach base twice in one inning? Seems like it might only happen a couple of times per decade, but it’s hard to guess the combined probabilities of multiple unlikely occurrences.

  2. Thanks Mr. P. I have that edition in my bookcase as we speak. Saved my beer money by getting it for Christmas though…

    Would have been worth the collapse to see Hernan Perez pick up the win. On the other hand, all Luke did was strike out the pitcher.

  3. Now that I think about it, I should’ve asked about a pitcher scoring twice in one inning – even more rare, and possibly easier to search for. For comparison’s sake, Julio is not a bad hitter for a pitcher, and in his first four full years he scored a total of three runs. I assume pitchers scoring twice in an inning would have been more common many years ago, as pitchers were better hitters relative to other players than they are now and pitched longer in each game and weren’t pinch-hit for as often.

  4. Strangely, I picked up the same book (for a whole dollar!) in Chapel Hill in 1983…

  5. @3 Right, pitchers have had fewer opportunities to hit, let alone twice in an inning.

    I’m going to ask the weird baseball stats guys on Twitter and see what they come up with.

  6. Except for the fact that James has turned into an elderly curmudgeon political/current events hot and awful take troll on Twitter, me too.

  7. @3: I can’t tell you how many times it happened, or even the last time it happened, but it happened here — Danny Jackson in the 5th inning in 1988. https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CHN/CHN198809040.shtml

    I searched for all games in which pitchers scored more than two runs in the game (that’s easy on BRef) and this was the second game a pitcher scored 4. The first was Micah Owings scoring 4 against the Braves, but he spread it out nicely.

  8. Max Fried did not disappoint. That game had everything and then some. When they brought in the position player throwing 59 mph I figured we’d bat around again, but nope…crazy game. Austin Riley gives depth to this lineup like we’ve rarely seen, and RAJ and Albies are two of the most exciting players we’ve ever had, period. But yeah, #bullpenisbad.

  9. Thank you for the recap, Seat Painter. Hope all is well with you and yours.

    Give ’em heck today, Braves.

  10. I’ve been culling books from my shelves for some time, but I can’t bring myself to get rid of any of the abstracts from the 1980’s. After I discovered the first one in 1982, it’s hard to describe the pleasure I got each spring when the next annual edition came out.

  11. I’d like to see the Braves maybe look into trying to acquire Tim Mayza from the Blue Jays. His career hasn’t been long, but he’s a fairly consistent lefty. He generates K’s, and doesn’t walk a lot of guys. Assuming Newk (hopefully) stays in the pen for at least the rest of this season, that’d be two potential quality LHP out there.

    Also, go sign Kimbrel! Jackson’s arm is going to fall off at this pace.

    The bullpen is bad, but it’s fixable if they’d just try. Venters and Tomlin need to go, though. If the Braves were rebuilding, they’d be fine to eat innings. They don’t belong on a contender anymore, however. I’d also axe Parsons, personally.

    Come on Anthopolous, the rest of this team is so good, don’t waste it!

  12. MLB.tv said Braves sign Blevins (?) to major league contract and grant Venters an unconditional release. Earlier today mlbtr said Braves sent Blevins packing. What gives?

  13. Great writeup SP. I have a confession. I used to read the Abstract every Spring but I did it in the store and never bought it……. Of course, I read most of the stories but only the profiles of Braves. I guess I must be responsible for the demise of B. Dalton.

    I come away from every season wondering why there are seemingly decent assets at AAA that never even get a chance to play and prove they have what it takes to succeed in the majors. de Paola and Rowen are the current guys that deserve such a chance.

  14. Blevins was DFA’d meaning the Braves wanted to keep him in the system. Once he cleared waivers, the Braves recalled him anyway. They are releasing Venters. (Note: the DFA of Biddle means he’s likely to go to AAA, not out of the system) I still can’t believe their solution is to bring Blevins back but he only had one outing where he gave up a run – one out of six. And that was that awful Dodger game. If they can really keep him to being a strict LOOGY then he may have some merit. Maybe it’s only temporary because the Brewers have problems with lefties. I’m not sure how long he’ll last. The Braves don’t have any other proven lefties ready to go (Minter has to get straight and Clouse/Burrows are not exactly tearing it up).

    We need to find a real lefty option….. Will Smith is out there.

    I still think all our answers are named MadBum, Will Smith, Craig Kimbrel….. Three more weeks til Kimbrel.

  15. @21 – I listen on the radio, and was curious, how did Grant Dayton look, in his five appearances for us? He’s a lefty.

  16. Sayonara, Jonny Venters. May you have a cushy executive job waiting for you in the Braves org sometime very soon. Or maybe a coaching job. Whatever you want. You served this team well.

  17. I thought Grant was OK but he is still recovering from TJS and I think they’re going easy on him right now.

    Difference between Dayton and Blevins is Blevins is high K, high W and Dayton is low K, low W. Both have the same xFIP; pick your poison.

    I prefer Dayton but only fully healthy. I am not a Blevins fan but he does have 5/6 scoreless outings. I guess Blevins is still low man on the totem pole, though.

  18. Do we need to give our pitching staff a break considering the Dodgers, D’Backs, Cardinals, and Brewers are 4 of the top 10 offenses in all of baseball (the Braves are another). 4 of the other 5 are AL teams. That means any other teams we face next after the Brewers will be less dangerous.

  19. We’ll see how Gausman does the rest of this game, but his first inning wasn’t so bad. Only one ball was hit hard, and his command was ok. He was pretty sharp in the second inning, but Cain had a seeing eye single. Unfortunately he’s up to 48 pitches through two. With our bullpen, we need guys to pitch deeper.

  20. As I mentioned, the Brewers kill RH pitching. If Gausman can go 4-5 without any more damage then bring in Newk for an extended relief appearance. Really our best and only chance to win this game.

  21. Thanks, Jonathan. For one player to score twice in an inning, the team needs to score at least 8 runs that inning, so I can quickly eliminate a quarter or so of the games from your list.

    Chief, I thought at first that you were referring to me rather than Bill James (bought my first Abstract in 1984, btw), but while I’m somewhat elderly, I’m not on Twitter.

  22. My enthusiasm for Gausman has waned slightly. But even from innings 1 to 4, you can see how quickly things can change.

  23. Don’t want to hear anyone complaining about Gaus now. His last three innings were really good – and kept his pitch count down. He will get better as the year goes on but he’s pretty darn good tonight.

    We need some runs…….

  24. Brewers never should have brought in a lefty. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

    Braves next pitcher should not be a righty.

  25. Riley and McCann > Duvall and Realmuto

    Anthopoulos took a lot of criticism from Braves Country (including myself), but maybe we’ll all be thankful for his vacillating, and that he didn’t trade Riley to the Marlins. May the Marlins’ front office take a lot of flak for passing him up for the Phillies’ A-ball pitcher.

  26. Oh, checking minor league goings-on: Jasseel De La Cruz threw a no-hitter for the Fire Frogs tonight. Adam Duvall and Travis Demeritte both hit homers. Patrick Weigel pitched four shutout innings.

  27. I got 126 names into Jonathan’s list before I found a pitcher who scored twice in an inning – Edwin Jackson in 2010. Not sure I have the stamina to go through the rest of the list, but I’ll assume it happened 0 to 3 more times in the other 156 names on the list, so it’s something that happens once every 5 to 15 years.

  28. Gawd, I hope Winkler has his issues figured out from his last appearance.

    He can’t even get a call for a strike in the middle. Two missed strike calls. Damn.

    This is a disaster for Winkler and it’s not his fault.

  29. @40 There was zero chance Riley was going to be traded for Realmuto. More likely would have been Contreras. Sixto is not such a big deal. He’s ranked 27 by mlb.com right now. Pache is 17, Wright is 30, Anderson is 31 (Riley is 34). We could have included Wright and Contreras and it would have been a better deal than the Marlins got. They would have traded away Flowers in the deal too before McCann.

  30. From my recollection, the post-Phillies-acquiring-Realmuto scuttlebutt from Bowman and others was that the Braves were offering Riley in the Realmuto deal.

  31. I have a bad feeling about the ninth…too bad Neck is slow as heck on that play at the plate.

  32. This isn’t a blown save. Milwaukee the luckiest sons of b*tches in ball right now.

  33. @52 No. Jackson can’t be expected to be perfect. And he had to be used last night to save a game that shouldn’t have needed saving.

    The Brewers slam righties. Newk would have ended this thing.

  34. yeah, props to Luke for damage control through the tough part of the lineup. he has looked legit for the most part. I wish Riley hadn’t been taken out, though.

    Ugh, Hader

  35. Lessee, my guess is Blevins next and then Tomlin. Can’t believe he’d go for another inning from Luke. Unless they really intend to grind him into the ground.

    Oh, forgot about Webb. He may have a chance.

  36. This is one of those games you stick a pin in to remind yourself of in a close pennant race.

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