Kevin Gas-on-the-fire-man has a near-historic night: Pirates 7, Braves 4

A couple of weeks ago, James D, noting that Julio scored twice in one inning, asked how often pitchers had achieved that feat.  Using BRef, I was able to answer a related question: how many times have pitchers scored twice in a game, and provided the recent list to James D, who laboriously figured out that the most recent earlier pitcher to accomplish this feat was Edwin Jackson on 4/11/2010.

People occasionally ask me (and by “people” I predominantly mean my wife) “Hey! You retired 16 months ago.  What the heck are you doing with yourself?”  My answer is that when something itches, I scratch.  My inability to answer James D’s question really bugged me.  So over last weekend (it can take a couple of weeks for the itch to become unbearable) I dumped every Retrosheet event from 1921-2018 (all 12.8 million of them) into a database that I can now query to answer almost any question like this.  James D was correct, but I can now tell you that this feat has only occurred 45 times from 1921-2018.  And I can further demonstrate that Julio’s feat is the third time this has happened in Braves franchise history.  George Stone scored twice in the 2nd inning against Houston on 9/20/1972 and Johnny Sain did the same for the Boston Braves against Pittsburgh in the top of the 9th on 5/3/1950.  Anyway, I can now answer lots of stupid questions like this, so ask away.  This doesn’t entirely satisfy my wife’s criteria for a meaningful existence, but we’ll just have to wait for that itch to get unbearable, I guess.

As you all know, my retirement is actually only six days a week, because Wednesdays are devoted to you folks.  And there was added pressure for two reasons: first, Roger finally came through with a Tuesday win; second, there was a phantom two hour rain delay that interfered with my normal game time inebriation schedule… the last few innings might be a little dicey.

City Limits Riley (or the Human Cheat Sheet, if you prefer) started the scoring in the second with a solid single knocking in the oddly underrated but appropriately paid Donaldson – by holding him to a single, Pittsburgh saved a run.

The lead didn’t last long.  Gausman (how did I get him two weeks in a row?) ceded a two-run homer to someone called Elias Diaz.  It was an unfortunate sign of my ethanol-affected state that when I looked him up, I mistakenly found the records for Einar Diaz who is now a coach at Gwinnett.  I couldn’t figure out why Pittsburgh had a 46 year old catcher, though I wasn’t surprised that Gausman would give up a homer to a 46 year old catcher, or indeed, after an out, to the next five batters, all of whom hit safely, including pitcher Joe Musgrove. The Braves finally got out of the inning when Starling Marte foolishly tried to score from first on a Josh Bell double.  He could have just waited his turn a hitter like everyone else did.

The first two pitches in the third were two more Pirates doubles.  At this point Gausman had given up hits to seven straight batters.  Einar (oops… Elias) then grounded out to break the streak.  Wow… Seven straight hits.  Isn’t that the worst effort by a starting pitcher… wait a minute!  I have a database!  It is not.  In the bottom of the 4th inning on September 29, 1999.  Greg Maddux gave up 8 straight hits to the Mets (at which point he was pulled for Kevin McGlinchy.)  There are a few more examples in franchise history, but none in Atlanta.  (Bob Forsch of Houston gave up 9 in a row in 1989.) So, to channel Chip, this outing by Gausman was historic, and the only Atlanta comparator is in the Hall of Fame.  Prepare the plaque now.

So we got to the 9th and the Braves hadn’t stirred since the 2nd.  Then they stirred.  Acuna and Dansby hit meaningless 9th inning homers (well, Dansby’s had meaning for Joe because it was hit to right-center) and Markakis hit a run-scoring double,  but Joe Musgrove is apparently going into the Hall of Fame as well if he can just figure out a way to face the Braves in every start.

Sorry for letting you down, Roger.

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.

97 thoughts on “Kevin Gas-on-the-fire-man has a near-historic night: Pirates 7, Braves 4”

  1. Appreciate the quick recap, I fear for Folty getting hit early as well tomorrow. There’s something amiss with the pitch calling with both flowers and McCann; maybe bad scouting, I don’t know. Defensive positioning is also lacking. Anyway, glad to see Ronnie run into one. They have to get him going before Riley cools off.

  2. Gosh, Jonathon, I’m still so happy about winning last night and pissed about not signing Kimbrel that you could not possibly let me down. I feel like I let you down because I didn’t start watching until the 8th (I gave up on the rain delay). If I’d started watching earlier, maybe the Braves would’ve scored more runs….. :-)

    Nice recap anyway and thanks for letting us know where to come for the really obscure questions.

    Side note: Congratulations on retirement, I’m extremely jealous.

  3. @1 I hope they’ve learned something. Gausman threw 61 strikes and only 27 balls. I think this is a recipe for disaster against the Pirates. Some pitcher, maybe like Folty, who is effectively wild could be poison to the Pirates. Excepting Tomlin (the soft-tosser), none of the relief pitchers last night threw 60% strikes and they were effective. The Pirates are the kind of team Touki would murder.

  4. @5 I know this, I’ll never root against the Braves, but I’m pulling for Kimbrel to have the best 2 1/2 years ever for a closer. I want Liberty Media to rightly be crushed for their lieing, tightwad ways. Hopefully the only saves Kimbrel ever blows come against Atlanta.

  5. It’s not really just a Braves/Liberty Media thing, nobody wanted Kimbrel for 3+ years this offseason. The Cubs blinked.

  6. Retirement is wonderful. Congratulations.

    The Braves are not broken. There’s little wrong with the pen that having starters go six or more won’t fix. That said, Gaus and Folty need to step up or aside, and Camargo needs to play four or more times a week instead of Nick and Ozzie.

    Thanks for the recap. Enjoy retirement.

  7. This weepy cheapie act the Braves pulled all winter, all spring, and all summer about not signing Craig Kimbrel is infuriating. Screw the team poohbahs who inflicted this gaspail brigade on us because they don’t want to spend a buck on a gallon of water.

    This team is good enough to lose in the Division Series again. If they want more than that, they’ll need to quit sitting on their thumbs.

  8. We really dodged a bullet by not giving Kimbrel 3 years. I mean, it’s not as if we will need to have a bullpen in 2020 or 2021. :(

  9. I said when we didn’t trade for Realmuto that they’re running out of opportunities to improve the team. May not be a statement for good discussion, but it’s true.

  10. I’m willing to wait and see. If Luke Jackson is the Atlanta Braves’ closer at season’s end, then I think I’ll have made up my mind about the GM.

    Of course, I’ve already made up my mind about the rest of Atlanta’s executives and the parent company.

  11. I mean, it’s not as if we will need to have a bullpen in 2020 or 2021.

    Because Kimbrel is the only closer they can possibly have in 2020/2021?

    Don’t make me defend Anthopoulos. I’m still bitter at how he didn’t do any of the “top of the rotation/closer/power-hitting corner outfield” thing he was talking about doing post-Donaldson signing this last offseason.

    As DS said, if Luke Jackson’s the closer come August, barring any injuries or the Braves completely collapsing in June and becoming sellers, it will be inexcusable.

  12. Kimbrel was the best available relief pitcher. We won’t get a better one through trade. It’s our biggest position of need. And the price was not outrageous.

    I’m almost Andrelton-trade level pissed off. Stating the obvious, winning a world series is not the goal of this organization.

  13. If we had real sports media in Atlanta then AA would be forced to speak on the subject at hand.

  14. @13, no, of course they can get another closer for 2020/2021. But the idea that they wouldn’t sign Kimbrel because he wanted a contract that included 2020 and 2021 is kind of insane, IMO. If they go out and either sign or develop someone as good or better, sure, great – but thus far there’s no sign of that happening, and we just passed on what looked like a great fit.

  15. Want to honor the legend of Mac over on Twitter. You people that have been around, look in the archives to find one of your favorite pieces of his as I’m going to copy/paste it to Twitter. Thanks!

  16. I’m in the camp that thinks Liberty stabbed AA in the back sometime after the Donaldson signing.

  17. 2 hours until game time and no lineup. I’m guessing the lack of a lineup has little to do with a pending roster move, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see a fake IL trip for Gausman today. While I’d love to see a little bit of a roster overhaul by bringing up Grant Dayton and Adam Duvall and DFA’ing Blevins to go along with the Gausman IL trip, I think it’ll be simpler than that if a move is made today.

    Never mind…lineup just posted and Markakis is still in there even though it was stated he’d get more rest throughout the season and he’s royally sucked for a month (.556 OPS in last 26 games).

  18. I’ve basically stopped watching the games again–instead preferring to go fishing after work. They had a nice, short-lived win spell, and now we’re right back to the same tired song and dance of basically .500 baseball. There’s not a good team in the NL East division this year, so that means we sit comfortably within a few games of 1st place.


  19. If Gausman is truly a 2 pitch pitcher now and these are the results, he needs to go to the bullpen immediately.

  20. @14
    It hasn’t been since 1999

    All those guys are tools.

    “But he’s played 257 games in a row! He has a Silver Slugger! Bryce Harper isn’t playing well!” DOB or Peanut

  21. Had a message chat with a Cubs fan friend of mine. When I told him that they overpaid, he just replied “Not my money”. That shut me up.

    Quite cool: Just met (well… saw) Roger Clemens here in Scotland – forgot to ask if he was available maybe. Man, he’s really huge.

  22. With this being a day game after a night game Snitker really should have given Camargo the start at second and Joyce the start in RF.

  23. Folty had a HR/9 rate of 3.1 and it’s getting worse.

    How much more leash are the Braves going to give him before he goes to the bullpen or the IL? Touki wouldn’t take that long to stretch out and Bryse Wilson is better than this too.

  24. Funk this ship. Do I really gotta write about this today?

    BTW, Spectrum is having some sort of site issue, so I’m not able to stream the game on computer or via smart phone app. Probably for the better.

  25. 33 – Seriously, I just came here to ask the same thing. Archer’s a struggling pitcher right now and you give them an out with one of the most productive hitters lately….

  26. Chip and Joe talk about Folty’s “bad luck.” Catch it, throw it, hit it: guess it’s bad luck he doesn’t.

    Our ace: sure.

  27. Two starters with ERA’s over 6 aren’t going to get it done. Two dudes that we counted on to be good on top of it. I would rather see us go to the kids and let them learn instead of this garbage

  28. If it is to be believed, we did not beat these offers.

  29. Folty’s got showing his pouty Aunt Fanny down pat, credit where due. And the Bucs didn’t score!

  30. Aunt Fanny did okay after he threw up all over the mound. He might fit into the tail end of a real mlb rotation. He probably deserves another turn, but only if he wears his big boy britches.

  31. @39 Liberty is cheap, and the talking heads that run this organization are blatant liars. There’s no defense to be made, the suits just suck. If you don’t want to pay ML players major league salaries, don’t own a MLB team.

  32. I’m not able to tune in, but all told, Folty went 6 IP, allowed 7 baserunners, and recorded 5 strikeouts. If you told me just that, I would have thought he had a good outing.

    I’m telling ya, Folty and Gausman are going to make you renounce FIP before the end of the year.

  33. I still say the tweet below from Bowman last December has determined the Braves lack of major free agent signings since McCann/ Donaldson. I think Liberty told AA no major deals for an undisclosed amount of time. Not sure when the ban will be lifted.

    Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos left the Winter Meetings this morning to attend meetings with Liberty Media execs in Denver
    5:56 PM · Dec 12, 2018 · Twitter for iPhone

  34. @44 For all we know that was to bust his chops for signing Donaldson. He may have gone rogue and they may have decided to set him straight on the Liberty Media financial philosophy

  35. Well. Johan’s weekly at bat went poorly, and BMac shows his baserunning acumen.

  36. I’ve seen ketchup come out of a Heinz bottle faster than McCann moves

  37. The longer this goes, the more I think that this could be the case, Td. As a fan, I hate it. As someone who has an enjoyment of business, I understand that it might be hard to sell a team if you have these longterm obligations that a potential buyer may not make, and I respect an owner’s right to do with their property what they wish. With that said, if you don’t like multi-year baseball contracts, you may want to consider, ya know, not owning a major league baseball franchise, chyaw?

    But there are plenty of deals out there to make.

  38. Should’ve left Joyce to bat, stupid lefty righty bullshit. And then McCann is the only one on the team to not be able to score on a wild pitch.

  39. What pop time would a catcher have to have, minimally, to throw out McCann stealing 2nd given normalized jump and conditions?

  40. He wouldn’t have to throw it at all. Just run the ball out to second. Most any catcher would get to the bag before BMac.

  41. The opposing catcher could probably run to second base and get there before McCann arrives on a steal attempt.

  42. Freeman popping up to the pitcher on the first pitch…. I think the offense has given up for today after that camargo DP.

    Can markakis go away?

  43. My favorite Braves’ strategy is keeping Johan on the bench and never, ever sitting Markakis or Ozzie. Keeps Camargo rusty and the regulars exhausted.

  44. coop: that’s because your supersub is like your second catcher. If you waste him by starting him you don’t have a supersub.

  45. @58 – But, more importantly, it keeps Neck’s consecutive game streak going.

  46. I agree that Nick and Albies need more days off while struggling, though Nick does hit RHP much better this year so far, so I kind of understand not wanting to do it today. They have both been dreadful for about a month now.

  47. I can’t get over how much Bell has filled out since last year. He’s really bulked up.

  48. Well, this has been a fantastic series of pitching, I must say. And yes, our pitch calling continues to suck out loud.

  49. I know hindsight and all that, but I just don’t understand why Snit won’t throw Newcomb for 2 or 3 innings in a game like this. Newk was going good.

  50. Darn, Riley didn’t hit a HR to keep up the pace. 2-4, but man , he is swinging at everything.

    And yeah, newcomb should have continued in the 8th its not like he was getting hit hard.

  51. Ozzie swinging at the first pitch after the mound visit was mind-bogglingly stupid. What’s he trying to do, ambush something? Even if he successfully did so, it would only matter insofar as it put him on base. Just dumb.

  52. I think the Braves are playing right into Liberty’s hands. They’re playing to ALMOST win. But not quite.

  53. I don’t know why I’m doing this to myself, but Bowman retweeted the report from Mark Feinsand that we’re now frontrunners for Keuchel. One would think that if he thought there was no validity, he would say so (again) or just ignore it rather than retweeting the report.

    Do I think anything’s going to come of it? No, I don’t, but it is interesting.

  54. To be fair to Bowmeh, he only ever indicated that the Braves weren’t going to sign both Keuchel and Kimbrel. I wasn’t sure if he meant either or both.

    Re: Keuchel – There is part of me that hopes they will. It’s just money. It beats doing absolutely nothing. There is part of me that isn’t excited for Keuchel because we never just eat a failure but rather suffer the duration of it and pay the full price… meaning, if they sign him for next year, he will be in this rotation come hell or high water.

  55. I’d find it difficult to complain about the team not doing anything to upgrade and then, upon signing Keuchel, also complain that they shouldn’t have done that.

    I know the bullpen is the bigger issue, but I think it’s pretty clear they’re uninterested in spending any actual money to upgrade it (relievers are fungible and blah blah blah…or something like that). If that’s their decision there, the rotation becomes the next big position of need.

  56. Also, he’s pretty likely to be better than at least Teheran, Gausman and current (though hopefully not future) Folty. Not sure why we wouldn’t want him based on that alone.

  57. They won’t sign Keuchel because, well, he won’t pitch for minimum wage in Georgia. Now if he’d like to volunteer his services, say as an unpaid internship of course, Liberty would love to have him.

  58. I’m not so sure that he’s better than Teheran. I’m not going to complain if they try something, I just find it weird that they’d see Keuchel as being a better way to spend money than Kimbrel.

  59. @79

    If he comes for a year or two, rather than three with an option for four, then you’ll have your answer.

  60. Liberty Media, though, would like to clarify to Mr. Keuchel that they can not offer college credit.

  61. Paul Crane, who hit on the Kimbrel to Cubs deal 4 hours before anyone else, says Keuchel deal with ATL is almost done. I expect Mike Fast and BMac trying to pull some weight.

  62. I’m not the biggest Keuchel fan, but I’ll take any upgrade we can get at this point.

  63. It seems Koo-chull is open to a pro-rated one-year-deal whereas Kimbrell was perhaps not. That might explain the Braves’ interest but I think Kimbrel would have been more useful to us.

  64. If you didn’t like Gausman and Folty getting tagged these past two days, it would be a bad time to tell you that Keuchel gave up 9.3 H/9 last year.

    It’s hard to read what’s going on. The New York Post is saying that the Yanks are wanting to sign him for the prorated $17.9M qualified offer. Braves people are saying that they don’t want to go that high. So then how could the Braves be a frontrunner if they don’t have the highest offer seemingly? Would Keuchel prefer to pitch in the NL East vs. the AL East? Would he prefer to pitch the majority of his games at STP vs. Yankee Stadium? Does Keuchel think Atlanta will use him differently than New York? Does he think he will pitch more innings for New York since he thinks they’re more primed for an extended postseason run? Does he not want to shave his beard? State income tax/COL considerations? All very interesting things Keuchel has to consider if he’s wanting to just take a one-year and get right back out there.

  65. I know this is going to sound weird, too, but signing Keuchel leaves more flexibility to trade someone later in July (e.g Julio). I am interested in who in the rotation this may affect most – a high paid pitcher or a younger low paid pitcher. If you sign Keuchel for this year at a prorated rate, you have the possibility of trading either Julio or Gaus which would wipe out a potential salary commitment for next year as well as this – Julio’s option and Gaus’ arbitration. Next year, either of them will cost $11M+ and the Braves could essentially dump 2 of three high paid pitchers at the end of this year – Keuchel on a one year and Julio or Gaus by trade. That would leave more space to allow the next wave of pitchers to come up from the farm.

    If they do sign Keuchel then the only trade may be for a reliever. And, as relievers go, they may only want someone who is not signed for next year.

    There are very few (zero?) players truly signed beyond this year – Freddie, Acuna, and Albies. Everyone else is either pre-arb, arb, or has an option for next year. Signing Keuchel now could lead to having less money committed next year.

    Think about it. They have every position covered for next year except maybe catcher and an outfielder.

    IF – Freddie, Ozzie, Dansby, Riley
    OF – Acuna, Pache/Waters (one will make it next spring), xxx (Markakis option/Duvall)
    C = Flowers, Contreras/AJax
    SP = Soroka, Fried, Folty, Julio/Gaus (one will remain), xxx (Touki/Wilson/Wright/Anderson/Allard)
    RP = Jackson, Minter, Winkler, Webb, Newk, Dayton, xxx, xxx (Clouse, Burrows, Weigel, Ynoa, Gohara, Parsons, Sobotka, etc…)

    The team will be competitive but not championship and will be the cheapest team in the league. Inciarte and one of Julio/Gaus might be traded this July to dump salary.

  66. Rosenthal’s “serious talks” are usually code for what I can only assume is some sort of non-binding but verbal agreement that is 99% likely to reach the finish line. That they’re basically done, but something needs to be signed or something is simply not binding.

  67. Just saw the reporting from Maddon saying Kimbrel might be ready to pitch in 3 weeks. That is completely ridiculous! Could neither he nor his agent nor anyone around him guess he’d be signed immediately after the draft? Maybe the Braves passed on Kimbrel because he wasn’t ready to roll.

    Sure, you hope to not have this problem in future seasons on a multi-year deal, but as an employer, I’d really hate to bring that lack of work ethic into a team environment.

  68. I don’t think starting pitching is as great an area of need for the team as the bullpen, as long as we insist on a 5-man rotation – we’ve got a lot of guys who can do well enough over five innings, so replacing one of them with a guy who can go six innings isn’t necessarily a huge improvement. I’d be very interested if Keuchel were to allow us to adopt a bullpenning-type strategy.

  69. Surprising but positive developments on the Keuchel front. A few weeks ago I would have said we had no need for another starting pitcher. Unfortunately with recent failures of Gausman, Folty and Fried, I think the likelihood of our current 5 man starting staff finishing out the year strong and in tact is pretty low.

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