Braves Sweep Pirates – Win Streak extends to 7

The Braves concluded a four-game sweep against the visiting Pirates on Thursday afternoon with a 6-5 win. The win extends their current winning streak to 7 games, and for the time being Braves country enjoys a 1.5 game lead on the NL East. The Pirates sent the game 1 starter, Joe Musgrove (4-6, 4.40 ERA), back to the mound today since he was ejected from the series opener after just 0.2 innings of work. It was Julio Teheran’s (4-4, 3.03 ERA) turn for the Braves.

I don’t feel like regurgitating the big plays from this game in chronological order. I get that that’s basically what a recap is for, and I just don’t feel like doing it. Here are the main points from this game, and they’re fairly predictable at this point. Teheran was mostly on point in the same old familiar way that we’re used to seeing. He made a lot of pitches each inning. There were people on base fairly often. He lasted 6 innings on 98 pitches, allowed 3 hits and 3 walks. Sounds familiar, yes?

More interestingly, Julio’s ERA continues to be a full 1.2 points lower than his FIP. Now, as I’ve seen stated already, his BABIP of .238 is quite low, however this is not the full story behind Julio’s success, IMDKAO. In fact, I’m not even convinced his BABIP will regress that much — here’s the thing about that; his 2018 BABIP was .217 over 175.2 innings! Julio Teheran is a different kind of beast than where he started out in his career, and the BABIP is going to be lower than most. Even if we accept regression is somewhere down the road for Julio, what he has actually done better, so far, is his HR/FB has come down to 10.1% — this is down from 13.5% last year. This is the recipe for Good Julio as we’ve come to call him. This is when Julio is worth closer to 3.5 WAR than 1.5 WAR.

Moving on with the events of today’s game, Joe Musgrove was also predictably chased out by the 5th inning. He would not record an out in the inning, but would get tagged for 4 runs in that inning alone. The Braves continued with getting some good 2-strike contact to do the damage. No home runs were hit by either team today. There weren’t any lingering tensions between Musgrove and Donaldson. Etc. etc.

Brian Snitker did get tossed early in the game because the umpire was a drizzling mess of inconsistency, but whatever! The Phillies come to town tomorrow. It’s the first time these two teams have met since the season-opening series in Philadelphia where the Phillies swept the Braves. With the Braves now ahead in the division by 1.5 games, they could set the tone for the rest of the season with this series. Looking up at a division leader isn’t something the Phillies have done all year until now… Go Braves!

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116 thoughts on “Braves Sweep Pirates – Win Streak extends to 7”

  1. @94 from prior thread. blazon, that was Swarzakopf. OK, from now on, as long as Swarzak is pitching well, he’s hereby known as The General.

    note: For anyone who really doesn’t know it’s Schwarzkopf

  2. I still maintain that Donaldson was all an act. I can’t believe it was not intuitively obvious to everyone except Diaz and Musgrove. Musgrove had been the most impressive pitcher against the Braves and the Pirates bullpen is very shaky.

    Can’t you just see him on the bench?

    JD: Hey BMac, these guys are looking so lackadaisical. We need something to get’em riled up. This pitcher is killing us, especially me; I might as well TOFTT and see if we can’t put some “mean” into these guys.
    BMac: Whaddya got in mind?
    JD: Idunno, but if I get a chance we’re gonna see some fireworks.

    It had all the hallmarks of fake outrage. It worked, too. Even Musgrove could not keep us down today.

    LOL. Always need to get the troops fired up.

  3. FG has a new prospect ranking out and the Braves are the only team with more than four in the Top 50 – they have SIX. What’s more interesting is that only two if them are pitchers.

    Only two teams have 8 or more in the top100 – Braves and Rays (9). The Padres have 7.

    Granted that Soroka and Touki and Fried and Minter have graduated, but still…. All of our high rated prospects are at AA/AAA. Very top heavy – great but makes for a difficult situation with roster makeup.

    Langeliers checks in at Braves #10.

  4. As far as I can tell, after about #15 or so, the Braves have one of the worst farms in all of baseball. Depth at the low minors is already a problem. Hopefully, the FO can really have a big impact once the international restrictions are lifted.

  5. So the Rays just had a 36 minute power outage delay, which is, in functionality, no different than a weather delay. Because of the nature of the stadium in which the game is played, outside forces have prevented the game from being played. But the owner of the team, Stuart Sternberg, understood that it was super freaking tacky that his dump stadium doesn’t have power, even though that’s not his fault at all and St. Pete has simply acknowledged that they don’t want to put more money into the grid in 33705. I don’t blame them; not a real nice zip code, and the stadium won’t be there “soon”.

    Anyway, Stu gets on TV, makes some jokes, kinda-sorta owns it, explains what the big picture issue is with the grid, does the best he can, and he stays on TV for a while hanging out with the broadcasters. So a human being, the owner of the team, came out in front and wore an issue that is 100% not his fault. Contrast that with the godless ownership conglomerate that exists in Braves Country who fans have never seen, will never hear from, and fans know that they don’t care one bit about the team. At least Stu’s there, at least Stu gets it, at least he’s willing to put himself out there.

  6. @3-4 System is definitely starting to thin, no doubt. I still haven’t been to a A+ game. Contreras and Jenista weren’t hitting, and we don’t have a single top prospect on the pitching side in A+. What the TINSTAAP Truthers/Prospect Haters were wrong about 3 years ago — “Bah! There’s no way we have 15-20 future major leaguers in one system! WISHCASTING!”– would be correct today. I’d say the system heavily thins around #10 nowadays.

    I’m interested to see where the early round and late round talent ends up. We’ve been given rave reviews on our late round guys, especially the ones that have already signed, and early round guys (even underslot ones) will still find their way into top 20 and 30 rankings almost immediately. And that will fill A- and A+ pretty good for the second half. But I see very little hope in the guys ranked 15th or lower at the moment.

  7. Speaking of old prospect lists:

    https://www.minorleagueball.com/2014/11/11/7183475/atlanta-braves-top-20-prospects-for-2015

    https://www.minorleagueball.com/2015/11/11/9715764/atlanta-braves-top-20-prospects-for-2016

    https://www.minorleagueball.com/2016/11/18/13681446/atlanta-braves-top-20-prospects-for-2017

    16 of the 26 guys from 2015 have seen big league action. 2 are All-Stars, with another two potentially this year (Fried and Soroka).

    18 of 26 from 2016 have seen big league action. 2 All-Stars (Folty graduated; Acuna came on the list), and 2 more potentially (Fried and Soroka again).

    12 of 20 from 2017 are MLBers. Look at this freaking list: Swanson, Albies, Allard, Soroka, Newcomb, Fried, Acuna, Gohara, Anderson, Touki, Riley, Wentz, Pache, Muller, Minter. We’re talking probably 5-6 All-Stars from this list, 17-18 future and current major leaguers, and a player that has bee considered one of the most talented has been a bust (Maitan). If you go down into the C+ and C prospects who didn’t make the list (Luke Jackson, Sobotka, Webb), you can almost fill up a 2021 division-winning club out of just this list. In fact, I shall try:

    C-Alex Jackson
    1B-Demeritte
    2B-Albies
    SS-Swanson
    3B-Riley
    LF-Acuna
    CF-Pache
    RF-

    BENCH-Ruiz
    BENCH-Dustin Peterson
    BENCH-Ray Patrick Didder
    BENCH-

    SP-Soroka
    SP-Fried
    SP-Newcomb
    SP-Anderson
    SP-Touki

    CL-Jackson
    RP-Minter
    RP-Sobotka
    RP-Gohara
    RP-Muller
    RP-Allard
    RP-Weigel
    RP-Sims

    That’s one year’s rankings. Wow.

  8. Poor Mets, the main reason they traded for Canó was to get a relief pitcher who’s fast metamorphosing into Armando Benitez II.

  9. @4, One would hope depth at the low minors will be solved when we start to reckon with our 40-man roster crunch by recycling a bunch of our higher-level talent.

  10. @7 I’d have put Demeritte in RF and leave 1B symbolically open. We haven’t needed a prospect there.

    @9 True enough, but get on with it already. The TBR are like 65 players deep (vs the Braves’ 30 or so); you’d think there was a trade there somewhere.

  11. Staring into the void.

    Getting the blackout treatment for all seven games, never seeing a live pitch thrown, puts you in full zombie mode sooner than later. There is however some consolation to be found in GameDay.

    You gradually find out all it can tell you peripherally and the strange thing is the tension that builds in close games like the last two is just as real. And the game photos they post and the condensed 5 minute game video are all of first rate quality.

    So thank you for that, at least. But for the Phillies I need to see live blood.

  12. Thank you, Donny. Julio is pitching well in his Julio way.

    There should be big crowds at Truist this weekend. Make them chop all weekend long, Braves.

  13. “Braves: Trey Harris, OF (ATL No. 28)
    It was a nice story when Harris, a Missouri senior taken by his hometown team in the 32nd round of the 2018 Draft, had a nice pro debut by hitting .302 and reaching full-season ball. He jumped firmly on the prospect map this year by hitting his way out of the South Atlantic League (.366/.437/.594) and continuing to rake over his first nine games in the Florida State League (.387/.457/.452).”

  14. “Would you rather be locked into Manny Machado’s contract, or have a 1 year commitment to Josh Donaldson before he clears 3B for Austin Riley?”

  15. Who is your most favorite forgotten Brave?

    Rico Brogna
    Matt Franco
    Lance Cormier
    Pete Orr
    Chuck James

  16. That’s actually a good idea, Sam, but I figure because of Riley that it would be near-consensus for Donaldson. So I did the harder one: Markakis vs. Harper. Vote in the poll.

  17. One of these days I would like someone to do a 10 or 20 most notorious Atlanta Braves list. I know we’ve done a greatest list and a not greatest list, but notorious would be fun. From stories I’ve heard, Lonnie Smith, Melky, and Robert Fick all come to mind. Melky more for laziness.

  18. It’s funny that you guys are talking about this because I’m compiling a list of forgotten Braves for an offseason series.

  19. My forgotten Brave is Jorge Campillo and his surprising ’08 campaign. Drafted by Braves in ’96. Kind of a junkballer if I recall. Mexican League player for years. 160IP in ’08. Think he’s back in the Mexican League now at 40.

  20. “My favorite forgotten Brave is probably a tie between Chuck James and Charles Thomas”

    You just have a “Chuckie” fetish

    I like Jorge Campillo, mostly because I’d actually forgotten him.

  21. How about current Nats manager Dave Martinez. Played in 120 games for Atlanta in his final season. I had completely forgotten that.

  22. Okay I’m down the rabbit hole now. Going through old bref Braves rosters. Just 5 years ago someone named Ramiro Pena got 165 PAs for Atlanta. I have absolutely no recollection of Ramiro Pena.

  23. Pena had a few weeks in which he hit well–way beyond his true ability. I was at a game in which he hit a big homer to beat the natspos, as I recall. He crashed back to Earth of course.

  24. That was a big one, Hambone. I was thinking of one in ATL. The older i get the more memory plays tricks on me. I may have conflated the one I saw in person with that one in DC

  25. Turns out he hit one at home against the nats in june, shortly before he was injured and missed the rest of the season. That’s the one I saw.

    It’s fascinating to be able to go back and check your memory against what actually happened.

  26. One of my favorite forgotten Braves was Dick Dietz, who spent one year (1973) as the backup catcher. His ops that year was .905 in 191 plate appearances , but he never played again.

  27. What do we know about the state of the Phillies coming in, hot/cold? Harper finally got on to a streak of sorts with XBH’s but few homers.

  28. @22–I’m finding your new poll difficult, Rob. Of course for this year and next I’d rather have Harper than Markakis. The problem comes in the assumption about who they would sign after the Neck era comes to an end. Harper is probably better than whoever they sign to play right after Markakis but if they’d spend the money there are some who may be close to Harper. There’s also the not insignificant possibility that Drew Waters turns out to be very good—but the odds of him being Harper level good are not high.
    And I’d take my chances on most anyone other than Harper in his age 34-40 seasons. But then again, I may not be among the living by then.

  29. Dunno either, but they’re:

    • 5-6 this month, with a 47-57 run differential (scoring 4.3 runs a game, yielding 5.2)
    • This year their relievers have been almost exactly as effective as their starters: starters have a 4.28 ERA and .776 OPS against, relievers have a 4.24 ERA and .771 OPS against.

    (Leaguewide that’s true too — ML starters have an ERA of 4.38 and OPS against of .748, while pen arms are at 4.45 and .745. The Braves are at 4.31 and .731 for starters, and 4.24 and .758 for relievers.)

    • They’re basically having a very cromulent year other than a series when the LA Dodgers swept them in three games and outscored them 18 to 6.
    • Their “ace” Aaron Nola has been pretty crappy all year, though not as bad as Folty, and Jake Arrietta hasn’t been great either. Their best pitcher has been Zach Eflin, who they got from the Dodgers in 2014 in return for the corpse of Jimmy Rollins.

    They’re a pretty well-balanced team; right now they’re not doing anything extremely well, but a lot of their players are having somewhat disappointing years, including Harper, Nola, and Arrietta, so they could be a threat if they stop doing their best Nats impression.

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/PHI/2019-schedule-scores.shtml

  30. @40 Is Harper significantly better than Markakis this season, though?

    Nick: .276 Avg 6 HR 35 RBI .368 OBP .431 SLG

    Bryce .259 Avg. 11 HR 46 RBI .356 OBP .464 SLG

    Harper has more power, and will probably drive in more than Nick as a result. So I can see voting that direction. I voted Nick because I’m not a fan of Harper, and the contract differences. Harper has to be a 1B by 34 or 35, right? Maybe a defensive stat guru could help, but he doesn’t seem to stand out among his peers now.

  31. Forgotten Braves (this could be all wrong)

    Tommy Harper who broke his arm waving a runner in.

  32. It might be a good idea as well as having designated recappers for each day of the week we have a ‘ Series Reviewer’ who in the 24 hours before each new series starts gives us an idea of what might be coming our way, individually and collectively, updated. It would certainly mean we got more out of watching the opposition. Yes/No?

  33. @46–great memory! That was Terry Harper and I believe it was a separated shoulder. He was one of the many Braves prospects of the early 80s who raked at AAA but couldn’t really hit in the bigs

  34. Not sure how I’m gonna vote. They are not in any way apples-to-apples. Markakis is a vote for “value” and confidence in ability to either develop a keeper for the future or continue to sign value OFs one year at a time. This is not an unreasonable strategy considering the availability of cromulent OKs every year and the declining salaries of power-hitting OFs. A vote for Harper is a vote for known and solid production every year from a spot that becomes stable as opposed to a variable. Harper is someone to build around. I’m not sure the Phillies really had any fixed building blocks before they signed Harper and traded for Realmuto – maybe Hopkins. The Braves already had Freddie and the guys already hitting the majors but not yet “building block proven”. Now we’ve signed an OF for several years along with a second IF. At least three building blocks.

    That means that Harper is no longer a value to be paid for. At the time Nick was signed, though, the Acuna and Albies contracts were not done but predictable (probably in the thought process of the FO to begin with). I guess with that in mind Harper ends up being a lesser value to the Braves than to the Phillies so I think I’m going to vote for Markakis. My vote is in context not outside of the context. Because, as many may remember, I was a big Harper proponent before everything shook out.

  35. I would rather have Harper 8 days a week and twice on Sundays. I didn’t want Markakis when we signed him, don’t want him now, and I think his departure will mark the beginning of the Braves making deep postseason runs.

    But I’ll admit he’s been better than I expected the past two seasons. At this juncture I just sound like a whiny biatch. But still, RF should be one of our best bats…maybe one day.

  36. @35 Dick Deitz was a hell of a player. He was one of the original player’s union leaders, so he didn’t last long in the league after that. And nobody understood OBP back then, and he was a monster. Eddie Mathews figured it out because he was smart. The Deitz/Tepedino/Lum combo in ’73 was damned good for 1B.

  37. Speaking of Markakis, the pre game crew just told everyone not to overlook Nick in the all star voting. As they pointed out, he went 7 for 16 in the Pittsburgh series!

  38. Fried getting BABIP’ed here in the 2nd. A bloop and 2 ground balls through the infield.

  39. Talk of Terry Harper brought back memories. I looked it up and he played 7 years for the Braves. Back in high school it made no sense to me why a guy with a. 287 batting average (and a 347 obp for that matter) didn’t play more. Of course I had no clue about ops and that a 347 obp was fair but a 347 slugging percentage was suboptimal.

  40. The first four hits Fried gave up were a bloop, two grounders, and a slow roller. Harper crushed it, but overall Max is looking not too bad. He’s throwing strikes. We’ll see is he can bear down and hold em right there.

  41. That was a great ab by Fried. Too bad they couldn’t cash it in. It may yet have an impact on Pivetta in terms of pitch count.

  42. Who exactly are these people who say that “strikeouts don’t matter” and how is Kingery hitting a homer a refutation of these people?

  43. Yeah Chip is getting to me more than usual tonight. I think he was saying that hitting a homer is better than a strikeout?

  44. Unless your name is Ozzie Albies, you should not be attempting to steal if you are in the lineup tonight.

  45. What was the crowd chanting during Harper’s at-bat? I know it wasn’t “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

  46. Can the Braves end the steal attempts? The team as a whole is getting caught stealing so much that the successful ones can’t be worth the ruined innings and free outs.

  47. I wouldn’t be chanting “overrated” at the guy who hit a 2-run HR, but that’s just me.

    And Winkler? Woof. Get ‘em tomorrow, guys.

  48. @47 I actually really like that idea blazon, and as other content is coming into the site, that might be a request and format asked of the recappers. I think that’s a cool idea.

  49. I’m gonna choose to not get worked up about a loss to the Phillies. We heard all offseason how good the Phillies got and how they’re the favorite in the division. They should be good. We’re still building our dynasty. We’ll get there by the time the games really count.

  50. I think Caray was more excited by Winkler’s sacrifice bunt than a Braves’ walk-off home run.

  51. That’s true, but Caray was going berserk over it immediately, before he even knew about his eyes being shut when it was shown on replay.

  52. Everyone should know about Riley’s arm. He was a pitcher before a 3B and has a rocket arm.

  53. Oof just checked in. Not a good start to the series. These games count double.

    Still think the Bravos need another starter. Plus, any starter they trade for is one the Phillies won’t get.

  54. Realmuto may be able to stop pass balls but…

    he has a sour looking countenance…

    glad we don’t have to look at that every night.

  55. Dangit. Only Freddie can get a hit with a runner in scoring position. We need someone else to step up too.

  56. Riley does it again, too. Who ARE these guys….

    That means we will automatically leave this weekend in 1st place!

  57. Oh my gosh, I gotta calm down. What a game. What a gut punch to the horsies. This is a deep lineup. Can’t believe it was Kakes who they chose not to pitch to.

  58. I started watching the game in the bottom of the ninth…you’re welcome!
    Always fun to read the comments and people giving up on the game.

  59. Speaking of gut-punches, Diaz blew the save in the ninth and lost the game in the tenth. That trade just keeps looking uglier and uglier.

  60. And two of the four guys traded away by the Mets, were on the field tonight. Swarzak for us and Bruce for the Phillies.

  61. @109 Braves seem to have this weird “we’re probably not going to be able to do this in future years, so we’re going to use the first half of the 2019 season as our final opportunity to see what the heck we have, so O’Day and Ender and whomever else can go have a powder” thing going on. It partly mirrors the “it’s a long season, so we’re gonna pay you to do nothing for a while so you can help us in the second half” thing too.

    It’s just weird that they’re intentionally not providing updates. When Freddie broke his hand, we were getting updates pretty regularly. We knew towards the beginning when he’d be back, if he was on schedule, etc. These guys? Weird.

  62. @41 – Yeah, Waters is striking out a lot but, after tonight’s game, he leads the Sourhern League in hitting, OPS, hits, total bases, runs, doubles, and triples. And, on opening day, he was the youngest player in the league. The only position player within ten months of him was Pache. As a Brave’s fan, irs hard to not get really excited about both Waters and Pache.

  63. Blazon, woke up in time to watch the 9th.

    This team is unbelievable.
    BMac was so pumped up. Great to see. He’s actually having a real fine season so far. Oh man! Go Braves!

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