Braves 7, Mets 2

As a New York resident, I am denied Chip’s incisiveness on days the Braves play the Mets, so if any of my commentary mirrors his, I apologize.  I start with history: in the month of June, the Braves have scored 133 runs.  This is the 14th highest run total from June 1-June 19 in MLB history.  The record is held by the 1929 New York Giants who scored 154.  Continuing my theme of the importance of pitching, that team finished 3rd that year. It represents a highly obscure franchise record, though, since the 1950 Boston Braves scored 132. That last run, seemingly superfluous, was actually historic (to the extent that runs in the first 19 days of June is a thing.)

The deGrom-less Mets gave up 7 runs highlighted by two run homers from Freddie and Josh and a pinch hit two run double from Nick.  Let’s not face deGrom again.  There.  That solves that.

Max pitched well, giving up two, one of which involved a misplay on a liner to center which Ronald came in on but might possibly have gotten if he’d gone out on immediately.  Maybe not.  But I did that a couple of times when I was twelve, so I forgive him. Flowers made an outstanding tag at the plate. Swarzak, Minter and Jackson had no relief issues.

Look: there’s only so much recapping one can do for a Mets game, and I’ve about reached my limit.  A day off tomorrow and the Keuchel era begins Friday in the District of Columbia.

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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.

47 thoughts on “Braves 7, Mets 2”

  1. Where did that 4-way race line go?

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/turns-out-the-nl-east-didnt-have-four-good-teams/

    Not to say the Braves have won (I still remember 2011), but at least as of June 19, 2019, the NL East divisional race is not living up to its pre-season hype.

    The Nationals’ season run differential is better than the Phillies now, and honestly I think they’re the bigger threat, even if they’re a possible Braves sweep away from a double-digit deficit.

  2. At 75 games, the Braves were 43-32 last year. We are now one game AHEAD of last year’s pace. The most exciting thing about this is that June and July were our worst months last year. This time last year, we were thinking Joey Bats might be the answer to all questions (OK, maybe some of us thought that was not going to be the answer). Last year, we made deadline additions to win the division. This years acquisitions, assuming there are any, will be made to win the league championship.

  3. I’m quite happy it’s not a four team race. Lol. There’s still a ton of baseball to play, though. I’m not counting on anything until I see that “x” in front of Atlanta in the standings.

  4. Thank you, JonathanF. A question: how did you, a Braves fan, come to live in New York? Conversely, how did you, a New Yorker, come to be a Braves fan and star recapper on Braves Journal?

    Inquiring small minds want to know.

    Great recap. Thanks again.

  5. @4 Agree, if Donaldson’s return to form lasts, this offense is probably the best in MLB. Our bench and platoon options really seal the deal. The more I think about it, the more it seems Duvall will be traded for a reliever. He’s got years of control left and plus defense. That should get something pretty decent in return from the right partner.

  6. Wanted to chime in on TOR starters or aces. There is a lot of talk about who out there is a true ace. 538 is ranking pitchers based on rolling game score and I’d say it’s a pretty good shorthand for what we are talking about. There are 4 SPs with 60+ rating:

    Sale
    Verlander
    Scherzer
    DeGrom

    Those are your “true aces”. There are 7 guys from 58-60:

    Cole
    Buehler
    Ryu
    Clevinger
    Greinke
    Morton
    Bauer

    Those are true TOR guys. Finally there are 14 pitchers between 55-58:

    Minor
    Price
    Castillo
    Marquez
    Tanaka
    Hamels
    Berrios
    Odorizzi
    Strasburg
    Snell
    Hendricks
    Kershaw
    Carrasco
    Soroka

    These are guys who could be #1s, but you wouldn’t necessarily call them aces at this point.

    You can quibble, but that’s a pretty good list and the fact that the best Brave checks in at #25 is why many here think we still need a TOR type guy. Problem is, they just aren’t available unless you can get a Bauer, Clevinger or Greinke.

  7. Don’t forget Ozzie not being an offensive zero against RHP. You can’t have a top lineup without having 3-4 boppers, and it appears we have that now with Donaldson and Riley, but you can’t have the best lineup — and a truly dangerous one in the postseason — without having productive hitters top to bottom. Ozzie figuring it out against RHP, Dansby taking a step, the catchers being productive, that’s just created a lineup where pitchers just don’t have many places to go for outs.

  8. By the way, the entire lineup has an OPS+ above 100. Some not by much — Ozzie 106, Dansby 101, Nick 101 (McCann has a 116 OPS+ to balance Flowers) — but I would say only Riley is the unsustainable performance in the lineup. I don’t see a reason why everyone can’t keep their current production.

  9. I love Culberson, but I would trade him before I would trade Duvall, who deserves a look with the major league team. Duvall has more power and a better glove. I get it that he’s an attractive trade chip, but I want the Braves to have the deepest bench possible going into the playoffs.

  10. To add to the discussion started by Ryan’s excellent breakdown of potentially available starters, here are the 10 candidates he mentioned ranked by rolling game score, with the Braves starting rotation mixed in to see where acquisitions would slot in:

    Castillo 57.1
    Soroka 55.1
    Boyd 53.8
    Gray 52.8
    Mad Bum 52.8
    Julio 52.4
    Roark 51.9
    P Lopez 51.9
    Keuchel 51.8
    Keller 51.8
    Stroman 51.7
    Turnbull 51
    Folty 50.2
    Fried 49.9
    M Gonzalez 48.9

    As you can see, unless we are talking Castillo, Gray, Mad Bum or Boyd, all you are really doing is adding depth, and depth is already a strength with Gausman and Newcomb already waiting in the wings not to mention Wright, Wilson and Touki. I would argue you just aren’t improving enough to justify the cost by replacing Folty or Fried with Stroman.

  11. McCann has not historically been part of a strict handedness platoon. Obviously he was an everyday player for years, but even in his twilight, he was not strictly platooned with the Astros. This year, he has 115 PAs against RHP and only 15 PAs against LHP. This is by far the highest percentage of his PAs against RHP, and that has undoubtedly fueled his success this year. I don’t see him keeping his .930 OPS against righties, however.

    It hasn’t worked quite as well for Flowers against LHP. For his career, he’s carried an OPS 50 points higher against LHP, but in short sample, it’s 150 points lower this year. That’ll probably correct in some way.

  12. Stroman would be a bit of a buy low candidate, but that’s a great way of looking at it Dusty. I do agree that the depth trades don’t make sense. I think you need elite talent or play the kids.

  13. As a brief aside, it is fun (for me) to take a moment of thankfulness to think about just how wretched this offense was a few short years ago, and how much more fun it is to follow our current group. Exactly three years ago yesterday, we also beat the Mets, 6-0. It improved our record to 23-46. Starting 9 that day:

    1. Mallex Raines (LF; Frenchy pinch-hit for him late)
    2. Ender (CF)
    3. Freddie (1B)
    4. Neck (RF)
    5. Flowers (C)
    6. Jace Peterson (2B)
    7. Chase “Not Travis” d’Arnaud (3B)
    8. Erick “Not Andrelton” Aybar (SS)
    9. Julio

    Julio actually pitched arguably his best game as a Brave for us that day, a complete game 1-hitter, beating deGrom. Neck hit his second home run of the year. It was one of those games that is a bone you get thrown every now & then when you follow a dismal team, just enough to keep you hanging around, against your better judgment. This team of ours this year is fun.

  14. @5: Thanks coop. (And apologies to all for a not particularly interesting story.) Moved from Savannah to Atlanta at 2 in 1958. Stayed there through high school in 1974. That made me 10 when the Braves showed up in town, the perfect age to foster addiction. Went off to college and never really came back. If TBS hadn’t existed, I might have *had* to come back just for the Braves.
    I honestly have no recollection how I found Braves Journal, but like most of us I was in awe of Mac. After his passing I met AAR and volunteered to do some stuff.
    Living in NY (and summering now in the Berkshires in Massachusetts) as a Braves fan allows one some critical distance from Yankee-Sox mania up here. (The people I really feel for are the Mets fans, at least the non-thuggish ones. That’s Mets *fans* mind you, not the Mets themselves.) It does require me to have friends who won’t let me forget 1996 in almost any conversation.

  15. Great stuff everyone. This is the only blog I read regularly where I bother to read the comments, and it’s because of content like this. Keep up the good work.

  16. Following the rolling game score logic, the Keuchel signing made a ton of sense in that his expected rating is 51.8 and Gausman (who he is replacing) had a 46.8. That’s a significant upgrade.

  17. 1. Mallex Raines (LF; Frenchy pinch-hit for him late)

    Nice. 10 years from now, we still need to be calling him that. May it live on.

  18. @4 Donaldson

    Interesting thought, Alex, maybe even profound! And original.

    Assuming it’s true what can we do to maintain the status quo, a consummation devoutly to be wished?

    Do we wheel out the appropriate apparati onto the field for home games and just hope the lessons stick on the road? Maybe so, the poor guy likely needs a rest.

    Or is it a case of one lesson cures all? Like Archimedes in the tub, EUREKA!!

  19. This team has been so fun to watch since last season. But this year you really get the sense that the Braves may actually have a shot of winning it all. If we add another starter after Keuchel, it has to be one of those top 25. Agree that we don’t need depth. We need a TOR starter to beat the Dodgers and Astros. And a shut-down reliever.

    Go Braves.

  20. Gonna catch the Rome Braves tomorrow. It’s Austin Riley bobblehead day and Langeliers and Shewmake have just been assigned there and should be playing.

  21. @13 Agreed. The Braves have depth in the rotation, and adding more will only complicate the logjam.

    When you look at the list Dusty complied, the Dodgers have 3 guys on it. The Astros have two elite arms. It’s also not coincidence that those two teams are oft mentioned as World Series favorites.

    Atlanta could use another guy off that list. I don’t feel the need is as pressing as the bullpen, but it is there.

  22. Atlanta could use another guy off that list.

    I like the upside at this point with Keuchel over Gausman to be able to get another one of our guys on the list. I’m assuming you mean that Keuchel and Soroka make two, and we’re short one, by the way. So instead of being short two and looking to Fried, Gausman, Teheran, and Folty to be two, I like our odds of finding one out of Folty, Fried, and Teheran. Obviously it would just have to come from Fried or Folty. But while I really like Gausman, at no point, I don’t think, did I think Gausman would appear on any composed list of TORs.

    Of course, the Keuchel over Gausman move also increases the possibility of having an elite bullpen.

  23. In other news, weird article from the AJC:

    https://www.ajc.com/sports/baseball/kevin-gausman-going-florida-for-injury-rehab-work/zFAgxeCxq84dRwWHyMoj2M/

    This may be some cover for IL manipulation, but why go so far as to say that Gausman will continue to rehab as a starter? I suppose they could go to a 6-man rotation at some point. Soroka’s career max IP is 153, and he’s coming off a season where he threw only 55 IP. He’s already at 83. Fried threw 110 last year, and 144 is his max.

  24. Russo today came up with his list of the best 5 center fielders never in the HOF and by implication, properly so.

    Braves to the fore. In order.

    1 Dale Murphy
    2 Jim Edmunds
    3 Bernie Williams
    4 Andruw Jones
    5 Fred Lynn

  25. I’m a fan. Andruw should top the list, with Murph second. I never saw anyone play center like Druw

  26. If the numbers change exponentially, then I’ll make this a semi-recurring thing.

    Number of players on current 25 acquired by which GM:

    AA-10
    Coppy-8
    Wren-6

    Of AA’s 10, Nick and Flowers are included, though they were originally acquired by Coppy. And considering how inexpensively the Georgia boys re-signed for, I think there should be an asterisks on that.

    Jacob Webb was actually a Wren draftee. Fun fact.

    Two years into a GM’s tenure, I would expect there to be more of a fingerprint on the 25-man. I know this will be an unpopular opinion, but this team was built by Coppy. He very smartly did not trade Acuna, Camargo, Ozzie, and Freddie, all who were acquired by Wren. Rightfully and thankfully so, AA has largely played custodian over just a bottomless pit of talent. He’s avoided dumb deals, and he’s done a good job with some of the spare part turnover.

    Coppy also acquired 22 of the 41 players on the 40-man (O’Day). And barring some significant roster-altering blockbuster, that number should continue to go up for him.

  27. @35 I feel as if Coppy often gets too much credit, and Wren too little. After all, Wren was the guy who signed both Acuna and Albies as unheralded IFAs. Wren typically gets bashed by a segment of the fan base though for some poor FA signings. ::cough:: BJ Upton ::cough:: And while it’s true some of that is deserved, no one is perfect, and the guy had his strengths.

    That’s not to say Coppy did a bad job. He was a master at working a trade, and he nabbed some pretty good prospects too, like Riley. I just feel it’s unfair to Wren to say the team was built by Coppy, because it wasn’t solely built by him. I also don’t really think crediting a GM for not trading prospects during a rebuild is really something to be recognized, because isn’t that the path most GMs would take?

    Let’s also not forget Coppy’s “contributions” a few years down the line when the farm is much more barren from the IFA penalties.

  28. For the majority of MLB’s history, yes GM’s indeed would churn talent upon seizing the reins to get “their guys” on the roster. See AJ Preller’s start in San diego as a particularly frightening example (not to mention that the Johns thoroughly churned the braves 40-man before naming Coppy as GM).

    The signings of Acuna and Albies were technically during Wren’s tenure but the bonuses were small enough that the International Director could approve them without input from the GM, so really, that credit goes to the International scouting team, not the GM. One should mention that Wren’s administration also came to the early deal with Maitan (at 13!) that Coppy consummated, and note how well that one played out.

  29. @39 Yeah, but San Diego was also in “go for it” mode, too. They didn’t hide they were going to be aggressive, and they were. Coppy and company laid out from the start it was to be a rebuild in Atlanta. So I think that’s different.

    I’m sure plenty of GMs turn over fringe prospects outside of the system’s top 20-30. Has there ever been a GM that made a slew of prospect for prospect deals though to re-tool a system to his like? Someone with more time than me following the game may know of one, but I can’t recall any.

    Fair point on Wren reaching the verbal with Maitan, though. I guess plenty of shared responsibility there. Maybe it’s unfair to ask had Coppy been a less abrasive GM, would it have been an issue? Cutting deals with 13 year olds is a bad practice.

  30. We made the Mets so mad that they fired their pitching coach (Dave Eiland) and bullpen coach (Chuck Hernandez).

    Fun Fact: The Mets have Robinson Cano signed through 2023.

  31. I will be unavailable tonight and tomorrow. Cou,d someone cover tomorrow’s recap?

    Thanks.

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