The Barrage – Braves 7 – Pirates 5

OK, I’m very cranky tonight. Tonight’s matchup of Folty vs. Archer portended to be a slugfest since both of them pretty much suck these days. Every time Archer pitches, he proves more and more why it’s darn lucky the Braves didn’t trade for him. Folty is no better than, and, yes, I’m going to say it, no better than having Gausman on the mound – an injured Gausman at that. So I keep hearing all the teeth gnashing after Gausman gave up 2 ERs in 4 innings (4 runs overall) but Folty gave up 4 ERs in 5 innings. I’m glad to see folks being at least as critical of Folty as Gausman.  Of course, Archer was worse than both of them combined.

So enough of talking about all the depressing pitching. The Braves hit 5 HRs in the first 6 innings (four in the 2nd alone). BMac had two of them including the big 3-run shot into the ChopHouse. Through 6 innings, the Braves had 8 hits and 5 HRs. Yikes. The only bad part of it is that I missed the 2nd inning because I had to go from my office to the car and couldn’t get the game up until they were showing the replay of Ozzie’s shot. At least I got to see BMac’s 3-run job.

While the Braves were slammin’ and jammin’ on Archer, the Pirates were dinkin’ and dunkin’ on Folty (7 hits, 1 2B).  Folty helped things along with 4 walks.  Just an overall stomach turning performance to watch.  Kevin Newman, the Pirates leadoff hitter, led the charge with 3 hits, 1 SB, and 2 runs scored.  AJ Minter looked pretty good as Minter 2.0, but was unceremoniously Grybo’d in one of the most difficult ways possible as with two outs, Swarzak came in and gave up a RBI triple to Bryan Reynolds to make the game 7-5 Braves.

Swarzak saved himself by getting the last out in the 8th and got a save for his trouble.  After that, the Gods had pity on us all and sent a rain storm hard enough to cancel the 9th inning.  Touki is looking like this year’s vulture.  Braves win but it was thunderous (bats), rainy, and leaky (pitching).  Thank goodness for another Tuesday win, but it sure felt like a Tuesday-type win.

92 thoughts on “The Barrage – Braves 7 – Pirates 5”

  1. How did we, and a bunch of others, miss out on Trout in the Draft? KLaw has used his well known scout contacts to recreate what happened to acquire a player very few people knew about a few weeks prior.

    Fascinating stuff, lots of interviews with the many losers who tried and then the ultimate winner. Hard to think of a better baseball read than this.

    It’s on ESPN, detailed, lengthy, unprotected, no paywall.

  2. Great piece on Trout. The tl;dr is that scouts are highly dependent on comps and he basically just broke the system. He was from a state (New Jersey) that isn’t a huge prep baseball state; his mechanics are a little more muscly than smooth; and whenever someone starts making Mickey Mantle comparisons they sound like they’re hyperbolizing.

    But Trout’s better than Mantle. He’s Mays.

    That said, our boys are no slouches. Kinda feels like Albies is getting into one of his hot streaks.

  3. Thanks, Roger. I sacked out when the rains came, and with trepidation checked the score this morning. Hooray!

    I’d rather visit my psychologist than watch Folty pitch.

    I said proctologist but was autocorrected. Either works.

  4. I take solace in that if the Braves had ever drafted Trout, we’d have never kept him beyond the arbitration years.

  5. Trout is an interesting story also because it reveals another fact about scouting: it can only be good in the regions it has covered (ie. can’t scout players you never see). Teams were reluctant to look at another big hitter from New Jersey. I also really enjoyed the story about preventing Billy Beane from getting Trout to spend a whole day working out with the A’s — you can see that the Angels’ scouts had really done their homework on Trout and the amount of coordinated effort to get him drafted (and at slot!). It’s just a beautiful story even if it wasn’t about the Braves.

  6. Braves record today = 38-29
    Braves record last year = 39-28

    Almost there. And July was a bad month last year so we have every chance to do better this year.

  7. I would so love to crush the spirit of the Phillies by ripping off a huge run and demoralizing them right as our big acquisition finally joins the roster.

    I read somewhere that we’re 20-9 in the last month. These guys don’t suck.

  8. Also, we’re now beating the Phillies in run differential. For a while, it looked like they were an even better team than they’d shown since their run differential had been much greater than the rest of the division, but that’s now no longer the case.

    We also have been a little better on the road than at home: 20-14 on the road vs. 18-15 at home.

  9. The Phillies had a good May (17-11). They’re .500 in April and June, but they did sweep us in March.

    The upcoming series with the Phillies is an important one for the Braves. It would be monumental to sweep their asses right now.

    Of course, I think that series will see Folty, Newcomb, and Fried. We need some good pitching in that series.

  10. I suspected this might be the case but the Braves are one of only 4 teams that have lost runs due to shifting their defense (so when the Braves are pitching).

    I wonder if we just aren’t very good at analyzing where to position guys, whether it’s just luck or whether the opposing hitters have been good at making adjustments against our pitchers. Anecdotally, it sure seems like we have a lot of balls hit to where a defender would normally be, but we are employing an extreme shift.

    I can’t find the numbers on the other side (to see how much we losing on the hitting side by other teams shifting) but it seems we have lost a lot of hits to the shift.

    Here is the data:

    https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=fld&lg=all&qual=0&type=1&season=2019&month=0&season1=2019&ind=0&team=0,ts&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&startdate=2019-01-01&enddate=2019-12-31&sort=10,d

  11. Pitch location (lack thereof) is probably hurting our shifting outcomes a bit. Or maybe it’s just luck. Interested to see how it plays out over the whole season.

    I do feel like it takes away from our offense some. Freeman, McCann, maybe others.

  12. @13 I think you are correct…pitch location seems to be a major culprit to me as well. If we shift for someone to pull, it appears we pitch them away at least once or twice in an at bat that ends up costing us when they go the other way.

  13. Our record is pretty good but our 4th and 5th starters haven’t been very good. If only we had a solution to our 4th and 5th starter problems. Wait a minute, haven’t I heard something about a guy named Dallas. Add him to the mix and if Newcomb continues his current trajectory and joins the starting rotation, I think we may have something.

    Given our current issues, it’s really nice to pick up wins when Gausman and Folty pitch.

  14. Braves are 28-12 when Soroka (7-3), Julio (9-5), Fried (9-5) or Newcomb (3-0!!) start.

    7-6 for Gausman.

    3-11 for anyone else (mostly Folty 2-7).

  15. @12 It’s interesting that the Phils are even worse than us. If your manager is not known for his player management skills, and they’re giving up outs and runs by trying to out-think the room, then what are you doing here?

  16. Weird how the consensus among all the announcers (Glavine, Caray, Francoeur, Jurenovich, etc.) was that it’d be “crazy” not to leave Newcomb in the bullpen as good as he has been for the team coming out of it, and now here he is about to start again right after they all said that.

  17. I thought the announcers were crazy. Newk has earned a few starts. Hopefully a similar trajectory as to what Fried went through.

  18. It will be interesting to see if Newcomb can keep his command that he has had as a starter. If he can, he’s a front of the rotation starter and would be wasted as a reliever.

  19. I think it’s good that Newk’s going back to starting. He should have the confidence after the these mostly successful recent weeks. He’ll turn the corner. Same with Touki.
    Then again for this season, we may need both in the pen. I have to believe that AA will be active to strengthen the bullpen the next few weeks.
    The Braves are in a terrific position here in mid June. They have to go for it.

  20. @12–thanks for the data. It does square with my impression from watching lots of games. I strongly suspect, though, that this is just random variation based on small sample size. I don’t know if there is data showing how many games are necessary for this data to be meaningful.

  21. SunTrust has some of the worst branding/marketing I’ve ever seen, and now they’ve completely outdone themselves. It saddens me that the company hired to come up with this name probably charged them more than we’ll all make in a lifetime.

    Why can’t we have nice things? Sob.

  22. The banks have decided on Truist as their new name. I haven’t seen that the ballpark will take that name yet.

    Edit: Nevermind the AJC just confirmed, Truist Park 2021.

  23. @28: “The Braves stadium will still be known as SunTrust Park through the end of this season and possibly next season before the ballpark near I-285 and I-75 is rechristened with the Truist name.”

    Looks to be 2021 at the latest.

  24. Does anyone else wish that in a game like last night that Snit would just use Touki for 3-4 innings to close out the game? When the long guys are on and in a groove, I hate seeing them taken out. You could save the entire bullpen on nights like last night and just have Touki unavailable for 2-4 days depending on the length of the outing.

  25. @11 I find it somewhat ironical that the Braves insisted we must have three RH starters to open with the Phillies and we got swept. And, of course, now we go with two LH and a RH. Too bad Keuchel couldn’t be ready for Sunday so we could throw 3 LHs at them. LOL

  26. I’m sure we’ll see more stats like this. Guys just simply don’t care if they strike out that they’re still going for it down 0-2.

  27. I just said Riley needed a day off, not a benching!
    Very impressed by Ozzies patience lately.

  28. What is the Braves’ caught stealing percentage this year? Feels like they get thrown out a lot.

  29. @43 So Gausman gives up four hits in a row to the Pirates; Fried gives up four hits in a row to the Pirates and they are either bad pitchers or reverting to the norm, but Soroka gives up four hits in a row to the Pirates and he’s just due for some BABIP’ing?

    It’s not really about the pitchers. All three pitchers were fine. It’s What The Pirates Do(TM). You have to have a different strategy against the Pirates. Get the first two strikes and then don’t throw strikes after that. It’s that simple. The Pirates don’t walk and they don’t strike out. You have to make them swing at pitches off the plate even to the point of forcing them to walk. If Soroka stays close to the plate after two strikes then they will get a lot of singles against him (or anyone).

    I don’t understand that, after five games against the Pirates, all basically going the same way, they don’t adjust to the Pirates’ style of hitting. If Soroka doesn’t adjust, he may not make it through five innings.

    The only other adjustment is to be careful on the first pitch. They seem to be ambushing a lot too.

    Except for the first, the Pirates have at least two hits in every inning.

  30. Enjoyed listening to Frenchy talking about Braves pregame preparation. Evidently Neck, Dansby and Ozzie are film rat workaholics. Sounds like Markakis is a good influence in the clubhouse. Preparation begets results.

  31. The strikeout of Moran had a lot of swings at balls off the plate. That’s better but then they let Newman ambush one.

  32. 49 — I have never once said Fried is a bad pitcher.

    And plus the point of my comment had nothing to do with any other pitcher. Soroka simply wasn’t going to have a 1.38 ERA all year and was due for some hits to fall in.

  33. Soroka is cool. I admire his poise. He may get hit but not rattled. Hope he can keep them at bay for a couple of more innings.

  34. As the Pirates have been scoring 6-7 runs per game, we need to get at least two more runs to have some bit of confidence.

  35. Thank goodness he finished the fifth. I don’t think they would have let him go past 100 pitches.

  36. As mentioned by Roger, all these games against the pirates and we have not seen an adjustment by the pitchers and catchers to throw out of the zone.
    Too many strikes, and now they put Tomlin in, who is probably the wort one matchup wise since he’s also mostly in the zone, just like Soroka.

  37. I’d feel better if Acuña hadn’t tried to steal second base in the bottom of the second.

  38. This game feels really slow. It’s been 2.5 hours since its start and it’s still the sixth inning.

  39. @71 We’ll need more than one anyway….. I thought 8 might work but now I’m thinking 10. You can’t lose with 10 can you?

  40. Webb closes out the top of the 11th…Osuna/Marte/Bell/Cabrera…still tied ..Riley up, HBP,delay

  41. Jeez, thought Melky had screwed us again……
    Wish Donaldson had taken his suspension today; he has been putrid

  42. Riley comes through AGAIN. Three times tonight!!

    Ozzie saves the day, too. Way to go Ozzie!!!

    What a response by Acuna…. Love these kids, just love’em.

    Told you we’d need at least 8…..

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