DWTG: Braves 7 – Cubs 9

So I didn’t watch the game (DWTG). That’s the consequence of the day game (the supposed “Business Man Special” I believe Chip is always yammering about), and so it goes that without having seen a single pitch of this one in conjunction with the score and the named perpetrators (Wilson, Tomlin) that I think we will all be best served forgetting about this one. The Phillies have won four-straight and the Braves’ lead over the division drops to 4.5 games. Freeman hit his 22nd homer of the year, and Albies hit his 13th as well. /ballgame

There is another matter of certain high importance with which I’d like to use this space to discuss. As you may have already noticed, there’s a need for pitching on this team. There are a lot of folks who think the Braves really need a stopper/closer type of reliever to elevate this bullpen to playoff status, but I hold the somewhat unfortunate opinion that what this team is really in dire need of is a playoff-quality starting pitcher.

The Braves added to their starting rotation earlier this month with the acquisition of Dallas Keuchel. He is doing more or less precisely what I expect from him. He’ll have some better games than what we’ve seen, but his contribution to the Braves’ starting pitching ERA of 5.60 is what we ought to expect. That ERA, on the other hand, is a problem for this team going forward. Even though it’s a full run higher than their 4.67 FIP, at least some of that is fueled by Kevin Gausman who hasn’t pitched anywhere close to his FIP all season long. In short, I see no reason to expect things to get much better unless young pitching turns a corner.

The Braves’ starting rotation is in the somewhat uncomfortable hands of a pair of rookies, Mike Soroka and Max Fried, and the already-very-well-known commodity that is Julio Teheran. Plus Keuchel. With the bullpen being very productive (near the top of the rankings in the NL for June), the Braves should concentrate on a starting pitcher centerpiece in their trades. I happen to have a pretty good source who suggests the Braves are in multiple discussions for a starting pitcher + reliever deal not unlike last season’s Gausman trade. He assures me that at least one poential trade involves players in return are much better than last year’s deal, and that more than one discussion involves a starting pitcher who would be coming off the IL in time for a trade. Feel free to discuss.

51 thoughts on “DWTG: Braves 7 – Cubs 9”

  1. While driving to today’s doctor’s appointment (just you wait, whippersnappers; someday your social calendar will be filled with doctor visits too), the boys on Power Alley were giving the Braves a lot of love. Particularly lauded was the bullpen. Go figure.

    They said we were the second best team in the NL, behind only them bums and largely because of the relative worth of our starting rotation. Yes, we really could use a Scherzer or Verlander. Go figure one more time.

  2. @1 coop, I hear you. The bullpen looked like the biggest question mark. This pen is about to make Anthopolous look like a wizard. Between Jackson and Swarzak, I’m inclined to start singing AA praises, because he has handled this side of the pitching masterfully.

    Some other rumblings I can share (these are not my own but a good source of mine): The Braves have backed off on Bumgarner. His pitching isn’t much better than what we just signed (Keuchel) and the asking price is too high. Could be posturing, but unless the asking price comes down we already know how this will play out.

    Given that some of the supposed deals involve a starting pitcher currently on the DL, I immediately pine for a trade with the Indians for Kluber. My source isn’t giving any more details as to who the other parties are, but his insights from the circles he’s in are so far legit.

  3. My list of pitchers I prefer right now over Folty and Gaus is pretty long, but the list of guys I would trade for to replace the aforementioned is still pretty short. At least with Gausman you’ve got a history that gives one hope in the second half. The Braves got a lot of options to fill in a vacancy in the rotation, but can they get someone who is going to move the needle?

  4. Pitching match-ups are tough but competitive:

    Tonight – Soroka vs. deGrom
    Tomorrow afternoon – Teheran vs. Matz
    Sunday evening – Fried vs. Syndergaard

    We actually have the ERA advantage on each match-up, if you can believe it. Of course, we also have the hitting, defense, and bullpen advantages too. Even on the road, we should be able to take 2 of 3.

    But if not, I will definitely let everyone know how horrible the team is and that we’re never going to win a championship. Some people are into that.

  5. Camargo is starting at SS with Ozzie hitting 2nd.

    Ozzie is hitting .330/.396/.617 in 106 OPS this month.

    And the problem with giving Dansby days off against tough RHP is that means that Camargo has to get a lot of ABs against tough RHP. And then he proceeds to get assignments against tough LHP when Kakes sits.

    Watch Ender come back and only get starts against tough RHP so that Riley, Donaldson, and Acuna can sit.

    Last beef: with 3 scheduled off-days in May, Camargo got 44 PAs. With 2 scheduled off-days in June and only 3 games remaining to be played, Camargo has gotten 25 PAs. Let’s say he gets 4 tonight, then PHs the next two days, he’ll end up with 31 PAs in a month with more games and less offdays. And the announcers are saying Camargo has “struggled”. Uhhh… what do you expect?

  6. Thanks AAR… Listening to that makes my heart soar. But it does put the pressure on, just a bit.

  7. The American Ladies have just defeated the French in Paris with a spirited 2-1 victory to advance to the semi finals of the World Cup.

    Who do they play there on Tuesday? OMG – England!

  8. Fascinating to read here/elsewhere(?) how Freddie’s top of the ninth ambush on Kimbrel’s first pitch was likely a half inch away from a 3 run homer. He just topped it. What’s the rush, Freddie, I had yelled?

  9. Freddie’s natural bonhomie and good humor towards opposing players are a regular feature we are all familiar with. Just a few minutes ago he was goofing off with de Grom from the dugout.

    Which begs two questions I don’t know the answer to…

    Is there anyone else in the Major Leagues as outwardly civil?

    and, more salaciously, are there any exceptions to his generosity?

  10. Everytime I see the Mets I wonder why they aren’t better than they are. They have some shutdown pitchers and some excellent young offensive talent. I guess the only explanation is they’re the Mets.

  11. I hate autocorrect, even when I have no idea what it’s correcting to. It’s a mystery.

    I hope C!aude is visible again tomorrow.

  12. I wouldn’t be surprised if Callaway gets the axe after this one. They’ve lost six straight and are twelve games back.

  13. Lots of good stuff down in the minors.

    For Gwinnett, Kyle Wright had his best start of the year. Duvall went deep twice and Jackson had his third homer in two days.

    Ian Anderson and and Jeremy Walker combined to throw a no-hitter. Ian walked 2 and struck out 14 in seven innings. On offense, Pache had a double and a homer and drove in both runs.

    The present looks good and the future looks even better.

  14. I don’t think it’s necessarily fair to tar Camargo with ‘finally’. His average isn’t good – how can it be with as few opportunities he gets these days- but just recently, i.e. tonight is a good example, he comes up with the hit of the game. There was also a big double pinch hitting on the road trip that effectively won the game. He has the precious knack of big hits in the clutch. We must not ab-use him, literally. His value is not to be trifled with.

  15. @39

    Sounds like the best day of the season for ‘the boys’. Anderson, wow, Pache too.

  16. After this past week, I’m sure the Mets will be sellers. Would you trade for Wheeler? He’s a free agent after this year so the price shouldn’t be high. Thor? Two more years of control raises his price considerably.

  17. MLB.com predicts Soroka to make the All-Star team, and Albies and Donaldson to just miss the cut.

  18. @42

    Wheeler? Yes, for sure. Sweep him into the fold, restore his Georgia roots, make him happy, then 5 years @ 16M per.

    Thor? Nah…too much of the Odin in him. Flamboyant, seeking the spotlight. DramaQueen.

  19. Seems unfair to leave Duvall in Gwinnett. Two more homers tonight? Think he has any trade value?

  20. When Markakis came up to the plate for the second time last night someone in the booth said since Neck put on an Atlanta uniform he has hit more doubles than all but two players in the league – Arenado being one, I forget the name of the other, but it hardly matters.

    I find this hard to grasp. Is it simply wrong? Is there a logical explanation? Is it just a statistical oddity?

  21. General Schwartz
    once threw for the White Sox, in shorts
    said Veeck as in Veck
    never thought he’d last this long but, hey, what the heck.

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