Braves 4, Marlins 3

Josh Donaldson capped a 3 run bottom of the 3rd inning with a 2 run homer, and Charlie Culberson threw out the tying run at the plate in the 9th, as the Braves take the series 2 games to 1.

Donaldson’s 200th career homer scored Freddie Freeman, who opened the scoring by cashing in Ronald Acuna Jr.‘s leadoff walk with a single. Donaldson then helped provide some Sobotka Separation in the 5th, scoring after his bloop double was followed by a Nick Markakis bloop single. 43 yards and a cloud of dust.

Dallas Keuchel shut out the Marlins for 7 innings, but left with 1 out in the 8th following a walk and a single. Chad Sobotka then struck out Cesar Puello, but allowed Garrett Cooper‘s homer to center to cut the lead to 1. Keuchel finished with 5 hits allowed, the walk, and 4 strikeouts.

The Marlins scratched away in the 9th against Luke Jackson. Jorge Alfaro was ruled safe at first after the initial out call was challenged, and Harold Ramirez grounded a single to center. Attempting to sacrifice, Yadiel Rivera popped a bunt over the mound to load the bases with nobody out.

At that point, there was not much left for Luke to do except to induce the old 7 – 2 double play. Neil Walker smoked a liner to left, Culberson caught it on the run, and his one hopper to Brian McCann resulted in the 2nd out, this time the Marlins challenge denied. After a Curtis Granderson walk reloaded the bases, Miguel Rojas flied to Acuna to cement Jackson’s 14th save. If Don Stanhouse was “Full Pack,” then Luke Jackson is “12 Pack.”

The Braves sprint through the tape to the All-Star break, not having lost a series since June 6th at Pittsburgh, going 8 – 0 – 1 since then. They hold a 6 game lead over the Nationals (delenda est) and 6.5 over the Phillies with 71 to play, and their 54 – 37 record is 2nd in the N.L. only to the Dodgers.

At San Diego Friday at 10:10 Eastern – Keuchel again, against SDB (some damn body.)

You can find pitch-by-pitch details from here.

Author: Rusty S.

Rusty S. is a Braves Journal reader since 2005 and an occasional innings-eater. It was my understanding that there would be no expectations.

32 thoughts on “Braves 4, Marlins 3”

  1. This team has some stuff for AA to work on – we’re not the ’98 Yankees here – but we win some laughers and then we win a lot of the close ones, too. We take care of business against the teams we’re supposed to and we play well against the good teams.

    If the Nats and Phillies just won all the games they played against teams with less talent than them, they might be at the top of the division. But they lose way too many of those games. These Braves don’t. That’s about the most important key to regular season success.

    Of course, that ain’t enough in October. But I’m not about to jinx us by talking about the p-word.

  2. Ian Anderson on the mound in the Futures. Just K’d Wander Franco (#1 prospect in baseball). 1-2-3 in the 1st.

    Pache K’d in the top half.

  3. Rewinded back and watched Anderson’s inning. Really liked what I saw. He’s so smooth. I saw him throw a bullpen in ST, and I was really high up, and with his mechanics, the angle made it feel like he was just gliding to the plate. Same game that Kyle Wright was blanking the Yankees’ normal lineup and Pache made a diving catch in RCF. It was a good day.

  4. Drew Waters is 3/4 tonight and he’s up to a .896 OPS in AA. He’s a major leaguer. I’m excited about our future outfield.

  5. Earlier today, we signed 18th rounder Mahki Backstrom. Before the high school season began, he was considered a potential first rounder. He started off slow but came on strong, as the season progressed. He was considered a lock to head to Fresno State but the Braves gave him a half million reasons to change his mind. I really like what the Braves did on the third day of the draft.

  6. For those that follow the draft closely, do you think the results from the third day outweigh what seems to be a lot of underslot moves in the first two?

  7. I really don’t have a problem with how Lukey is doing. 2.03 ERA, 2.98 FIP in the last month. 11.48 K/9 during that span, but his .303 BABIP is tops in the pen, which corresponds with his 56.4% ground ball rate. Today was a good example of where’s he’s been in the last 30 days; he’s giving up a lot of ground ball contact that needs to be turned into outs. He’s doing what he needs to be doing.

  8. There for a while it seemed like Duvall should be on a major league roster somewhere. He is still slugging pretty high but I won’t be surprised if a 230 batting average in AAA turns into a 200 average in Atlanta- about what he was doing before. Demeritte is intriguing to me. I know we don’t have place for him, but what else is left for him to accomplish in the minors?

  9. Is there a way to evaluate a team’s defensive positioning? Are there grades or scores that people calculate?

    I feel like the individual players are doing fine on defense (with the notable changes like Ender out of center, Riley learning LF, and Markakis continuing to slow down in RF), but there are times where it feels like we’re out of position. Luke and Max seem to get bit by this often, and I’m not sure if it’s just bad luck, bad execution that’s fouling up positioning, or that we’ve regressed on that front since last year.

  10. @10 I’d have preferred to see the Braves select someone with a little more upside with their first pick. They (hopefully) won’t be picking that high again for awhile, so this may’ve been the last best chance to add an elite prospect to the system. Instead they played it pretty safe. I do think some of what they did on day 3 offsets that, so I won’t pan their draft. Had they swung for the fences with that first selection though, I’d have given them an A+

  11. As someone who was high on Langeliers and Shewmake before the draft, letś just say adding the day 3 signings to tham is incredibly good. Iĺl go with the A+

  12. I attended Saturday and Sunday’s games. On Saturday, my companion dared question my choice of souvenir- a Charlie Culberson shirsey. Sweet vindication came yesterday, and we had great seats behind home plate to enjoy the play of the weekend. Keuchel was a lot of fun to watch as well.

    PSA: In the “Delta Club” concessions are included in the ticket and ushers basically come around and throw out food and drink like it’s a damn mardi gras parade.

  13. Sounds like the Delta Club is the place to be.

    I think I’ll just be interested to see how the day 2 and day 3 guys make their way onto the prospect lists and how they do in low-A. There’s a ton of excitement about landing the prep guys. It seems like they smartly threw cash at guys who seemingly all bit at it. Apparently baseball players like money. Huh.

  14. From the Talking Chop article about Backstrom:

    Backstrom, who went to Juniperro Serra High School- the same school as Mets slugger Dominic Smith, is an athletic slugger who has regularly posted some of the highest exit velocities in the 2019 high school draft class. The 6’5”, 220 pounder shows up on Perfect Game with 99.74% percentile for exit velocity, 98.80% for max barrel speed, 99.6% impact momentum, and 92.91% max acceleration to go with a 7.2 second time in the 60- a very solid time for a guy with his size.

    https://www.talkingchop.com/2019/7/7/20685378/atlanta-braves-sign-18th-round-pick-mahki-backstrom

    Geez.

  15. Earl Weaver
    didn’t have Seaver
    but Stanhouse the man
    so he smoked where and when you still can.

  16. I’m definitely excited about Waters, but is there any indication that Demerite’s turnaround won’t be long term? I know he was underwhelming last year, but a 1.005 ops over 80 games in AAA is hard to ignore. I know he’s 24, but does anyone have a perspective on any weaknesses still left in his game?

  17. Everyone has always seen him as a guy with a big hole in his swing, as evidenced by his consistently huge strikeout numbers. And maybe with the Triple-A rabbit ball, Braves scouts are unconvinced that he could actually solve big league pitching. But at some point, you’d have to think the guy would have earned a look.

  18. @22 What’s cool about the Braves being “back” is that there’s still so much talent that isn’t even here yet. Just imagine trading out Markakis with Pache or Waters, Teheran with a developed prospect, and more arms to throw at the pen. Then imagine trading out Joyce for Markakis, Markakis getting even cheaper, and shedding Teheran’s salary to add a frontline starting pitcher. That happens all next year within a reasonable degree of margin. I know it’s *way* too early to be projecting next year’s roster, but those are all things that are slated to naturally happen. And that team is more talented than this year’s team. There’s really no one that is a significant contributor to this team that’s going anywhere other than Donaldson and McCann. And in return you’ll get to spend Donaldson and McCann’s $25M, plus Teheran’s $11M, plus O’Day’s $9M, plus Swarzak’s salary, and if Gausman doesn’t put up, you can non-tender or trade his $9M. That’s the beauty of arbitration and these short-term commitments. Every year for the next few to several years they’ll have a portion of the roster you can yearly re-evaluate and churn if necessary.

    We back, but we ain’t full back.

  19. I can see Demeritte having an Adam Duvall like career, given the chance. Late to arrive, early to exit, but pretty good at his peak.

  20. Demeritte is blocked (and Pache and Waters are better prospects right behind him). I fully expect him to be one of our trade pieces before the deadline.

  21. I definitely think a rebuilding team will want to plug Demeritte into their outfield and try him out for a couple months post-deadline. Not sure what that gets us in return, but I’d love it for at least be as part of a package for a good reliever.

  22. @25 I’m a huge, huge fan of Waters. That said, I don’t believe we’ll see him in the Atlanta OF next season unless you’re talking about a stint as a September call-up. He really should see a full season’s worth of plate appearances at AAA, and the Braves have shown to be cognizant of service time considerations.

    I won’t go too much into talking about next year’s team, but I will say I wouldn’t mind seeing Donaldson back on another 1yr deal, if he’d do it. Riley’s been solid in the OF, and I can’t see any harm in leaving him there to bridge the gap until both Pache and Waters are ready.

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