The Longest Day: Natspos 4, Braves 3

Our Braves are DOOMED.  Clearly the new guy Keuchel sucks.  He might have been good in Houston, but he can’t get hitters out any more.  His fastball sits in the high 80’s and he doesn’t miss many bats.

And the Braves have lost their offensive momentum.  They’ve forgotten how to hit; they were 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position.

Even worse, the Braves can’t beat the Nationals.  They’ve now played three times—and the Nats have won all three!  The Nats cut the Braves lead over them to just 6 and a half games!

Just kidding.  It’s only one game. 

I was fairly impressed with Keuchel, considering he hasn’t faced any big league hitters in nine months. He knows what he’s doing on the mound, changing speeds, moving the ball in and out, keeping it down in the zone.  Several of the Nationals’ hits weren’t hit hard. But he has little margin for error.  I suspect it will take a few more starts for him to build up stamina and get sharp.  He was a very good pickup for the Braves.

After Keuchel went five, giving up 4 runs (3 earned) on 8 hits, the league’s best bullpen (since May 15—you can look it up) shut them out for three.  Touki was a little shaky, but got out of trouble.  Webb was outstanding—six up, six down.

And yeah, the offense came up short, but Donaldson had two more hits, including a double to left that was about 200 mph.  Austin THCC Riley turned on a Strasburg heater and hit it out to left to give the Braves an early 2 run lead.  Freddie had an RBI double, his ninth straight game with an RBI.  And although they were in hibernation mode for the middle innings, they made a run at them in the ninth.  But for a terrific sliding catch by Robles, the game would have been at least tied.

One piece of good news tonight:  The Phillies lost to the Marlins, so the Braves division lead is still 4 and a half games.  As many of you have noted, the Natspos are looking like the much bigger threat to the Braves as the season goes on.

Today is June 21, the summer solstice, the day with the most sunshine of the year.  Despite this loss, there is plenty of light for this team.  Perhaps the most important was that Bobby Cox is recovering.  He gave his first television interview since his stroke.  It was great to see him.  He’s struggling with speech and his right arm isn’t working, but there was a twinkle in his eye and he smiled as he said that he’s watched every Braves game.  His goal is to go to spring training next year.

We all know that Bobby isn’t a Hall of Fame manager because of his in game tactics.  But over the course of a season, no one was better at keeping a team on an even keel and playing hard every day.  What would Bobby say about today?  The goal isn’t to win every game, but you need to give yourself a chance to win each series. The Braves can still do that in DC this weekend.

Speaking of the summer solstice, not only does the sun set later today than the rest of the year, but twilight lasts for over an hour afterwards.  But as you get into August and September, the sun sets sooner, and twilight doesn’t last as long.

Yogi Berra was one of the two or three greatest catchers in the history of the game, but he also occasionally played left field, especially later in his career.  He said that he didn’t mind the outfield, except for one thing: During August and September, as the shadows across the outfield progressively lengthened, it got increasingly difficult for him to see a baseball hit in his direction. Yogi summed it up as only he could: “It gets late early out there.”

Tomorrow Folty faces our old friend Anibal Sanchez.

Author: tfloyd

Tfloyd was born on the site of Atlanta Fulton County Stadium. Before the stadium was built, that is; it was then the site of Piedmont Hospital. It took the Braves another 11 years to arrive on what is now Hank Aaron Drive, but I‘ve always liked to arrive at the ballpark early.

100 thoughts on “The Longest Day: Natspos 4, Braves 3”

  1. Nice recap. The Nats needed to make several difficult plays to win this and the ball just didn’t bounce our way. Let’s even it up in game 2. I have a feeling Folty is going to be top notch tonight

  2. This is a nice recap. I know we all need to keep perspective and you have to lose every now and then. The problem tonight was that it was so frustrating. An errant throw, a great catch. I thought Donaldson’s double might clear the wall. It was so close and we had the lead – just very, very frustrating.

    Oh, another note. Keuchel = no walks. Yes, he did hit a couple but no BB. His upcoming starts will hopefully be increasingly good.

  3. We need Folty to be great again. That’s not too crazy of an ask. Looking forward to his start tonight.

  4. Thanks, tfloyd, for the point-on recap. Dallas will only get better, and there was a lot to like in this first start. I’d still like to add a Scherzer or Verlander. Probably not happening. Wishes as horses, frogs with wings; you know the drill.

    @3: again? Again? I’ll concede he was very, very good last year, but “great” is a bridge too far.

    Get them today, Braves.

  5. I can confidently say that Gausman wouldn’t have matched Keuchel’s line.

    I’m also excited to get Gausman in the pen and see what he can do.

  6. Phillies just lost their sixth straight. Harper popped out with the bases loaded and down two runs to end the game. 😅

  7. I know the Marlins are Pure Evil, but today I kind of like them. Now let’s whip us some Nationals. Go Braves.

  8. For the record, Folty’s already driving me bonkers. Either shoot him or me.

    Thanks, Anthony.

  9. Folty looks like the last place in the world he wants to be is on that mound. His facial expressions are like those of Nuke LaLoosh during his nightmare. And Sanchez, for whatever reason, seems to savor twisting the knife against his old team. (Ditto Matt Adams.)

    Also, a quirk of scheduling fate that concerns me is the backloaded slate against these Nats, ensuring we didn’t get them at their coldest.

    In other words, woof.

  10. Not a bad play for a third baseman, Austin.

    Mike pitched better on hitters seven through nine, but we’re back to the top of the order in the third.

  11. He’s certainly not a non-tender candidate, but he’s definitely headed to the pen soon.

  12. There’s pretty much a whole rotation’s worth of pitchers who could out-pitch Folty at the moment.

  13. Bryce Wilson threw six scoreless tonight. Surely Folty isn’t gonna be given another start?

  14. Folty’s not pitching well, but he cannot hit. I’d rather not see him in an Atlanta uniform.

    Well, go Braves. What you got, Freddie?

    Must Folty go back out?

  15. Batters 1-5 for the Nats have reached base 9 of 12 times so far tonight.

  16. Patience is a virtue, Snit; but come on. Mike’s dying out there, and he’s killing the team.

    I’d rather see Blevins than.Folty.

  17. I do hurt for Mike. However, he cannot be allowed to flounder. Whatever his potential, he must produce or be held accountable for not doing so. Work him out of the pen, send him down or DFA him. We’re in a pennant race here. If he can’t help, get him out of the way.

  18. And Blevins pitching to a right-handed batter … um, not a good idea. Never a good idea. Get ’em tomorrow.

  19. Yeah nice usage of your worst reliever for the highest leverage situation. I’m trying to not be negative, but damn if these stupid decisions don’t frustrate the crap outta me.

  20. Not to become ‘Chief’ but tonight might be the most I’ve ever disliked Snit. Sending Foltynewicz back out there to blow the game after the team clawed its way back to within a run after his disastrous start is completely indefensible. Then he rushes to pull him after he gives it all back? What’s the point at that point?

  21. Soto didn’t even try to touch 2nd on that slide. Is that still a thing? Don’t hear much about it anymore.

  22. Minter might be something if he ever could figure out where to throw the damn baseball.

  23. Please tell me the bullpen can hold a three run lead….

    The bad news is that Dansby used up another of his HR’s.

  24. Got here just in time for the good stuff. Go Dansby!!

    I would like to see Newk in the rotation and Folty in the bullpen. When Gaus comes back, he’ll go back to the rotation. Having both Folty and Newk in the bullpen will make it pretty strong.

    How about that Swarzak!!!! Looks like we got sumpthin’ for nearly nuttin’.

  25. It’s pretty unusual to have three lefties in a rotation but I can see the Braves doing this soon.

  26. Glavine, Avery, Leibrandt made up 3/5 of the 1991-92

    And Mercker in place of Leibrandt in 94-95.

  27. The Cubs have 3 but I don’t know of anyone else.

    I forgot Mercker was a lefty. What a long time ago.

  28. The Braves are on a pace to be the 13th team in major league history to score more than 200 runs in June. (That pace is almost 7.5 runs per game: 149 runs in 20 games.)

  29. If a closer can’t trust his stuff enough to throw a strike with the bases empty and a 4-run lead in the ninth, he never will.

  30. I think Folty gets another one but that’s it. I presume he can be sent to AAA. He doesn’t seem like a good bullpen fit, unlike Gausman.

  31. I had a dream that we went to Game 7 of the NLCS and Snitker insisted on starting Folty in the 7th game.

  32. I think Folty has always been a great bullpen fit, but I’ve felt he’s an even better starter. But this extended period of futility coupled with his hissy fits on the mound has momentarily soured me on him. But young pitchers go through ups and downs, and he may be replaced with another younger pitcher who has had his ups and downs (Newk).

    Relative to their role on the team, has Folty been our only weak link recently?

  33. Anybody know what the lame chant Nats fans do that make it sound like a college football game?

  34. Bowman says Folty will be optioned to Gwinnett.

    Nobody has said who his replacement would be in the rotation, but Bryse Wilson has been the best starter for Gwinnett and his day to start would line up with the opening. I guess Sean Newcomb would be the other possibility, but he of course is not stretched out and is coming off the IL.

  35. Fly him plus coach back to STP.
    Have the apparatus ready on the field
    Allow an hour.
    Fly him back to DC
    the contrast between the good and the bad version is just too painful.

  36. Good luck, Folty. Work on throwing strikes, young man; trust your stuff, and come back when you get it together.

  37. Freddie and the new ball, love incarnate
    Jacob Webb, Schwartz. life savers
    I think they were trying

  38. When players don’t show emotion on the field they “don’t care.” When they show emotion they are “head cases” who throw “hissy fits.”

    None of this applies if they behave exactly the same while winning.

  39. Profound, Sam

    What have you made so far of the Ladies as they are playing, i’m very impressed by their physicality and the coaching changes of the modern game they have adopted

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