Atlanta 7, Pure Evil 1

Mike Soroka continued his dominant 2019 season last night, limiting a recently resurgent Miami Marlin team to 1 run in 8+ innings while the offense shook off the Pittsburgh Flu as the Braves earned a series opening win 7-1 last night.

Atlanta opened the game with its best Chicago voting impression – scoring early and often. Freddie Freeman got the festivities off to a rousing start by (SHOCKER!) crushing the first pitch he saw from Jose Urena into the upper deck in right for a quick 2-0 lead, driving in Dansby Swanson who had singled.

The Braves tacked another run on in the top of the 2nd when Ozzie Albies singled with one down, and Soroka, trying to bunt him over, instead worked a walk. Ronald Acuna Jr then hit a ball so hard off the left field wall that Joe Simpson still thinks it was a double today. However, Curtis Granderson was able to field it quickly enough to hold Soroka at second. Statcast said the exit velocity was 113 mph. Acuna stood there and admired the shot, so he was lucky Soroka had to hold because otherwise we’d have to yell at him for not hustling…

Ozzie was involved in Atlanta’s next run in the 3rd, when he singled in Nick Markakis with two down. I’m sure Soroka was enjoying the fact that he ended the 3rd by striking out, since it was his second plate appearance of the game.

In the 4th Acuna continued the scoring when he took Urena deep to right center leading off the inning. It was obvious he was enjoying that as he carried his bat most of the way down the line and gave it an Epic Batflip. Even Curmudgeonly Ol’ Joe didn’t have anything to say about that, as if anyone had earned the right to that sort of display, it was Ronald. Dansby and FabFive Freddie chased Urena by following the homer with a single and a run scoring double.

Atlanta closed their scoring with a 5th inning nightcap when with one out, Ozzie walked, was acrificed to second, and came home on Acuna’s third hit of the evening. 7-0 Atlanta, and the only suspense left was how far deep into the game would Soroka would pitch.

Speaking of pitching, Mike wasn’t exactly dominant, but he was very very good, and was backed up by some very very good defense. After a 1-2-3 bottom of the 1st, he pitched around a Starlin Castro lead off double, catching Castro in a one out run down after fielding a come backer to the mound. Soroka walked the lead off batter in the 3rd, but worked around that as well, with Swanson ending the frame on a beautiful diving stab of a Martin Prado liner.

After a clean 4th, J.T. Riddle singled to lead off the 5th, advanced to second on a fielder’s choice, and went to third on a one out Miguel Rojas single. But pinch hitter Austin Dean grounded into a 6-4-3 to end the threat. After that Soroka settled into cruise control, retiring the next nine Marlins hitters leading us to the 9th.

Snit let the kid go out for the 9th to try for the shut out, and that was defensible as Mike had only thrown 93 pitches through 8. However, he brought the quick hook after Granderson worked a walk to lead off the frame. 99 total pitches, 67 strikes, 3 hits, two walks. That’ll play in any league. Dan Winkler came in, and of course, allowed the Grybo to mean Soroka’s effort ‘ONLY’ lowered his season ERA from 1.41 to 1.38.

Anyway, I’m sure Dallas Keuchel is as looking forward to getting in front of this defense as much as we are to seeing him get in front of that defense. But, for tonight, we’ll have to settle for Julio Teheran.

45 thoughts on “Atlanta 7, Pure Evil 1”

  1. Good day to be a Braves fan! Mid-afternoon MLB game then Keuchel on later! 2 good starts and he’s in the rotation. 6/18!

  2. Excellent recap. May they all be like this one.

    I hope all of Riley’s O’fers are in Braves winning blowouts. Save’em for the close games.

  3. I still think the lineup needs a tweak. Markakis and Donaldson have become a wall of outs breaking up rallies. I’d rather see Riley 4th and Flowcann or Ozzie between the other two.

    Something like

    Acuna
    Dansby
    Freddie
    Riley
    Donaldson
    Flowcann
    Markakis
    Ozzie
    pitcher

    One of the advantages is if Donaldson leads off more innings, he’s got the OBP to be good at it.

    Anybody notice how many walks Ozzie is getting batting 8th. He’s been hitting a lot better too.

    If Ender comes back, does Markakis sit? OF defense with Acuna in LF, Ender in CF, and Riley in RF might not be so bad.

  4. @5 I don’t understand how batting Donaldson 5th would result in him leading off more innings, Roger? If they go 1-2-3 in the 1st, he’s hitting 2nd. Beyond that, isn’t anything else a total crapshoot?

    I don’t love the idea, though. I like Donaldson batting 4th. So many people are down on Josh, but he’s producing. He’s going to turn in a year similar to his 2014 season in Oakland, which was good. You’re just not getting the batting average he carried in 2015 and 2016.

    If anything, just give him some rest against lefties by playing Camargo at 3B. LHP appears to be his Achilles heel this season, anyhow.

    There’s no guarantee moving Riley up doesn’t negatively impact him, either. It might not. I’m generally against tinkering with guys when they’re hitting well in a spot, though.

  5. How much does batting order really matter? I don’t feel like rearranging the 4-6 hitters around in different orders does all that much.

  6. @6 @7 Have you seen how many times Riley has been leading off at 6th? Markakis seems to always make the last out of an inning with men on. I’d like to get Riley hitting with more men on base.

    The point of shaking up the lineup is move up guys that are hitting and move down guys that aren’t. Get some guys out of bad habits or bad hitting slumps. It’s not because they should be there all the time but maybe seeing some different pitches in different situations will make them snap out of the doldrums.

    We should’ve beaten the Pirates one more game but we did not score enough runs. As a team, we’ve been declining in batting statistics. Need to get a few rallies going. Even yesterday, it was all onesy, twosey run scoring. It’s been a while since we had a real big inning.

    Statistically, there are going to be very few innings where Acuna, Swanson, and Freddie make an out in the same inning. I want Riley up when it’s almost assured there’ll be men on base. He already had more RBIs than Donaldson in half the ABs.

  7. Markakis should pinch hit only for the next two weeks. Then platoon him. This can’t keep going on much longer.

  8. @9 It’d be awful tough to bench Nick when he took a below market deal to return as a starter. You do that and how do you get players to trust you at your word moving forward?

  9. @12 What is most important to which players is hard to say. I’d wager a Coke you wouldn’t find 100% support for either thought process, and therein lies the conundrum. How do you gently get a guy to come to realize he’s not an every day player anymore?

  10. @10–I assumed when Markakis signed that deal it was with the understanding he’d be a platoon player and pinch hitter. That’s why I kind of liked it. Obviously I was wrong.

    I don’t understand the insistence on playing him every day.

  11. Why wasn’t an appeal granted there? That’s bull! That ump should have to explain that one.

  12. @14 I remember Anthopolous saying at some point he was brought back to play every day.

    I don’t believe he should play every day now. I can just see the difficult situation it puts Snit in, especially with how Nick rightly stood up for him against the former upper management team.

  13. The Marlins either have Riley’s number or he’s turning into a pumpkin. Bat on ball, kid.

    Then again, no Brave has a hit yet.

  14. It’s an old problem. But players figure out how to adjust involuntarily. Chambliss did. There are plenty of examples.

  15. Tyler has earned a spot on my enough already list. He leads the world in passed balls, hasn’t thrown out a runner in memory and has forgotten how to hit. What he contributes outside a winning personality I don’t know. He brings less than Nick but a little more than Ace Faulty. Bitch, moan, complain.

  16. @19
    Coop, statheads would have you know that Flowers has been worth 1.0 WAR this season, as much as Donaldson, on a much cheaper contract…..

  17. @22
    Oh, I know, but what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. WAR is WAR with no special distinction for catchers.

    And Neck kills us again with RISP. I think he is at .158 for the year with RISP.
    He can’t keep getting away with this!

  18. Anyone want to give a hardy “way to go” for Julio pitching a great game. He has turned the corner from trade candidate to keeper.

  19. Slick, Dansby. Don’t aid and abet the enemy.

    @25: when he throws strikes, I love Julio. When he nibbles, not so much.

  20. Another screwed up ground ball. Not sure why anyone would want to pitch to our GB defense.

  21. Here comes the terrible inning for Julio. Thanks Dansby.

    On another topic, Riley, Dansby, and Neck need days off. Desperately.

  22. Houdini Julio. Great game, Teheran.

    I guess Flowers calls a good game. Either that or the Marlins are not the ’27 Yankees.

  23. I don’t believe one run is enough for the bullpen though. It’d take 11 for me to be comfortable.

  24. Swarzak’s done well for us so far. Good job. Agree, King. Breathing space would be nice.

  25. Great game to watch, tight all the way through. Luke is the man when it’s this tense, Newk definitely not. He looked out of place in that situation. Presumably he is more at home in middle inning/long relief. Viva Luke, our Kimbrel without the tears.

  26. Anybody think that one play by Donaldson is worth a WAR all by itself? OK, I’ll take 3/4 WAR for Donaldson and 1/4 WAR for Freddie.

    And chalk up another win for Riley, too. Hustle double necessary to get us in position to score a sac fly.

    This game really shows who at least some of our most valuable players are – Freddie, Riley, Donaldson, Julio, Jackson. There are, obviously, others but this is a big part of the core.

  27. Julio’s ERA is now 3.03. That is now among the league leaders (top 30 among all MLB). That IS the old Julio that we’ve been wanting to come back for three or so years now.

    Hey Rob. Remember that “seven great starts in a row” number? Today was #7 in a row with 1 ER or less.

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