Atlanta 6, New York 2

Atlanta rolled into the Big Apple to face a wounded LOLMets team who’d taken the art of the Blown Save to new heights recently. On top of that, the Braves had to face Jacob deGrom, who had strangled Atlanta the last time they’d faced him. But Mike Soroka showed he might just be up to the task of fronting a championship caliber rotation, as he outduelled the reigning NL Cy Young winner last night.

The 1st inning was uneventful for both sides except for a Freddie Freeman single. In the 2nd Atlanta opened the scoring when Nick MArkakis led off with a double. Brian McCann moved him over to third with a grounder, bringing up Austin Riley. deGrom got ahead 1-2, but his attempt to jam Riley caught too much of the plate, and The Human Cheat Code deposited the pitch 10 rows deep in the left field bleachers. 2-0. Soroka responded in the bottom of the inning with a quick six pitch shutdown inning. Exactly what an ‘Ace’ is supposed to do.

The bats added on a run in the top of the third with some classic Small Ball. Ronald Acuna Jr singled to start the frame and stole second. Ozzie Albies moved him to third with a ground out. After going to 3-0 on FabFive Freddie, in an obvious ‘We’re not letting you beat us.’ situation, the Mets intentionally walked him. Josh Donaldson then drove a flyball to medium deep left for the sac fly. 3-0. Soroka then shut down the Mets again with his third 1-2-3 frame in a row.

deGrom settled down after the third, striking out Brian McCann, Riley, and Johan Camargo in the 4th. Soroka opened the bottom of the frame by striking out Jeff McNeil, but it was an effort as it took 12 pitches. That AB might have taken a bit of steam out of Maple Maddux, as he then hung a slider to Pete Alonso, who hit a wall-scraper homer just out of Riley’s reach to trim the lead to 3-1. Robinson Cano followed woth a single, but Soroka retired Michael Conforto and Todd Frazier to limit the damage.

Neither team could dent the scoreboard in the 5th or 6th. Atlanta was making deGrom work, and he left after the 6th, having thrown 107 pitches. Soroka through six had only thrown 82. The top of the 7th was the Chip Carey Pun Show, as Chip flexed his verbal muscles when the Mets had Wilmer Font pitch the 7th. If I had had to hear one more ‘He’s a character.’ joke, I would probably have taken a pencil to at least one of my eardrums.

The bottom of the 7th however, made up for having to endure the top. Soroka came on to start the frame, and we got a lesson on the dangers of relying on soft contact. Todd Frazier opened with a solid single to left. Dominic Smith then took Soroka’s first pitch to right, setting up a no out first and third situation. Soroka rallied to strike out Amed Rosario, but on the next pitch Tomas Nido lined a little humpback liner about 99 feet into right to cut the lead to 3-2 and end Soroka’s night after 6 1/3 innings. Snit summoned Anthony Swarzak to put out the fire.

Facing pinch hitter J.D. Davis, he got the ground ball we were all hoping for, but unfortunately, it was a swinging bunt up the third base line that Donaldson, playing deep, could not barehand and all of a sudden it was bases loaded with one out facing McNeil, batting .344 followed by Alonso and his 28 home runs.

Let me for a moment interrupt and link to the ESPN game page. (I’d say spoiler alert, but really, the score is in the title above.) I direct your attention to the left side, where we can see the win probabilty after each at bat.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/game?gameId=401075952

Note that after the Davis single, the giant dip. When McNeil came to bat, the Mets actually had a 55.7% chance to win. Let that sink in. IF this had been April, we know what would have happened. First, it would have been Jesse Biddle pitching, and he would’ve walked McNeil on 4 pitches, none near the plate, followed by an Alonso grand slam. Let us return however to last night and see what happened.

Swarzak played with fire, hanging his first pitch slider inside to McNeil who just missed a bases clearing double. Another Just Good Enough slider with the count 1-2 was another loud strike, as McNeil hit it foul into the upper deck in deep right. The next pitch however was the back foot slider Swarzak was looking for and McNeil flailed at it for the clutch second out. Win probability shifted to 61% for Atlanta. Swarzak then got Alonso to line out to Riley in left. 75% to the Braves. Two of the highest pressure outs of the season (so far) to get, and Houdini Swarzak gets them somehow, and he’s rewarded with the Holdiest of Holds you’ll ever see. Seems almost unfair that THAT effort gets treated the same as any other Hold.

The Braves broke it open in the top of the 8th. Freeman led off with a single off Robert Gsellman. Markakis follwed with a one out single. After BMac completed the hat trick with his third K of the night (to be fair, two were against deGrom) Austin City Limits was grazed by a Gsellman pitch on his arm, bringing up Claude, who proceeded to line the first pitch he saw into the left center gap for a bases clearing double. 6-2, and all the Mets fans started heading for the subway. A.J. Minter and Luke Jackson finished up, with Minter surrendering a Cano single for the only baserunner the pair saw.

Julio Teheran goes tonight against Steven Matz, looking to get off the schneid and back to the May Julio, who was actually pretty good. Let’s sweep these chumps and bury them.

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42 thoughts on “Atlanta 6, New York 2”

  1. Chip Carey delenda est.

    Great recap. Thank you, SP. I do so like to watch Soroka pitch.

    Have a good Julio game. Win the series today.

    Let Chip stay. Just don’t give him a speaking part.

  2. JC’d amended

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

  3. Hard to believe deGrom signed an extension with the traveling circus.

    I suppose his age and the free agent uncertainties forced his hand.

  4. Ian Anderson contributed to a no-hitter in AA. He now has a 2.96 ERA in 16 starts. He’s walking wayyyy too many guys (43 in 85 IP), but he’s a strike out machine (113). Stop me if you’ve heard this about one of our prospects, but if he can cut the walks down, he’s a TOR candidate.

  5. Who are NL East rivals that you have liked throughout the years?

    I’ll say it: I like Chase Utley. ::ducks::

  6. Outside of David Wright, I always had a grudging respect for Ryan Howard. I also always kind of liked most of that Marlins team from a few years back that’s now scattered to the winds: Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, the late Jose Fernandez, etc.

  7. Biddle in that park. Yikes.

    I think Biddle will eventually figure it out. He’s talented. I feel sorry for him.

  8. Just read an interesting stat. Swarzak’s ERA+ (where 100 is ‘average’) with Seattle was 84. So, a bit below average. With Atlanta going into Friday’s game?

    A cool 862.

    After the bottom of the 7th last night?

    896.

    Yeah, he’s been pretty good with the Braves.

  9. There is no Met, not now, not ever (ok, maybe since Marvelous Marv) that is or can be likable. Anyone playing for that team, especially since 1969, is pure evil. Yeah, I hold grudges. They have always been of the worst that New York can offer. From “lovable losers” to “miracles” to “criminals” (see Strawberry, Darryl and Gooden, Dwight) to “clubhouse clowns” (see Vargas, Jason), they have nothing good to recommend them. Any player salvaged from that garbage clubhouse has to be considered “born again” (see the General and hopefully, maybe, Wheeler).

    I will never forgive them stealing the opportunity to get Hank back to the WS (and Knucksie to it) on one of the best Braves teams from 1966-1990.

  10. The Red Sox/Yankees are about to start in London in a soccer stadium that brings a whole new meaning to foul ground, dimensionally. We start exactly 3 hours later.

  11. @7

    Chase Utley was ok until that hooligan play at second which was so bad it forced a change in the rules.

  12. @49 from prior thread. blazon, I believe it. Nick has always been a doubles machine. Also whenever you measure “most of….” over a few years span, the main consideration is not missing any games. That is the main thing Nick is an expert at – playing every game.

    In his early years Nick was a lock for 40+ 2Bs and 15-20 HRs. He had the neck injury which really cost him the better of three years even though he mostly played through it. With the Braves, older Nick has been a lock for 30+ 2Bs and 10-15 HRs. By doing that year after year, it adds up when most competitors have significant injury losses.

    Just to note, for every one on the “bad Nick” train, his career OBP = .358 and SLG = .424. His current 2019 OBP = .357 and SLG = .421 and his OPS+ = 100. Perfectly steady player (not gonna use the p-word) with perfectly average results. He may have hot streaks and cold streaks but he is who he will always be.

  13. Thanks, for the recap, SP. I, too, especially liked the addition of win probability into the Swarzak performance. Nice to quantify what we can all see with our eyes and feel with our experience.

  14. For anyone that cares, we should not break out the champagne bottles yet. After 83 games last year, we were also 49-34. We went on to lose 8 of 11 up to the All-Star Break and 13 of 18 overall up to the time AA started making deals and fell to 2nd place. I believe this team will do better, but I’m still waiting for the cavalry, too.

    Of course, that part of the schedule had the Yankees, Brewers, and Dodgers.

  15. So, after one, across the pond, each team scored a touchdown and missed the extra point. Go figure.

  16. I would say that we were a more flawed team last year than this year. And the depth of the 25-man roster was starting to create issues as early as July. I think this team is more balanced and immune to prolonged slumps.

    But yes, looking for the calvary as well.

  17. Soroka is becoming my favorite pitcher to watch. So smooth, so strong, so in control. I don’t get the feeling watching him that his elbow is going to fall off the way I do watching other pitchers. For instance, it just seems like Folty is constantly laboring through his starts, but it’s just an aesthetics thing. To me, Soroka and Newcomb have the smoothest, easiest deliveries…. with vastly different results as a starter.

    Good to see Jackson bounce back with a 1-2-3 inning too.

    I still don’t trust Minter, but his performance since he’s been back has been strong (8.1 IP, 2 ER). Of course, 6 walks in that time too, hence the distrust.

  18. @31 – Yeah, but that’s probably at least 100 points higher than what Ender would have produced.

  19. @7 I always liked Jayson Werth. He wasn’t the best at any one particular thing, but he had a really solid all-around game, and dude played hard.

  20. @7–you didn’t limit your question to players, so I’ll go with managers Felipe Alou, Dusty Baker, and Davey Johnson. Don’t get me wrong—I hate the Nats. I just have an abiding affection for those former Braves. I actually kind of liked the Expos.

  21. The bandages are coming off—or no, I guess they are being wrapped around him. Anyway, second consecutive start for Claude, this time for Kakes.

  22. Holy cow. I was looking at Riley’s stats and he’s K’d 56 times in 41 games.

    For comparison, Freeman has K’d 65 times in 82 games.

    But if you told me in February that he would hit 13 HR with a .909 OPS in 2019, I’d have been very pleased.

  23. @22

    Roger, thanks for the Kakes klues. Makes sense I guess, just don’t instinctively associate the double, a product of power, with him as opposed to the fifty or so others that relied on it for their living.

    @27

    timo, they’ll think it happens every game.

    Re Thor, had i known of your attachment i would have been more temperate in my remarks which were definitely over the top and designed to express my strong preference for Wheeler. How did you react to the 5 years/16M which were, naturally, plucked out of the sky?

  24. Just looked up Tim Tebow’s stats in AAA. With average.153 batting average and a .460 ops, I’m afraid his baseball experiment may be coming to an end soon. Too bad.

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