Double or nothing: Braves 4, Old Mule Hockey 2

There certainly hasn’t been a Post All-Star Break swoon for these Braves. Maybe they are inspired by the nice people and lovely weather. But even though there have been some nice people, the Braves are keeping their foots on the throats of those nice people’s beloved baseball teams.

Where do I begin, this sweet love story of … Oh. For those of the uninitiated, there once was (is there still?) a beer named “Old Wilwaukee.” Among my circle it became known as Old Mule Hockey. Thus the appellation for the opponents.

Max Fried was Maximus. 5 innings no runs. However, he left after the fifth with a dreaded blister. I think the Braves need to call in Moises Alou to solve this problem. 5 K’s, 2 BB’s, 78 pitches, and 46 of those for strikes.

However, the otherwise comatose from maltose got good pitching results as well. Adrian Houser had a perfect game through 3, but then in 4, it didn’t go so well. Ronald Acuna, Jr., the Toolshed with Precision Tools, hit a grounder up the middle, but in modern shift position, Keston Hiura caught it in very short left center, but couldn’t get the throw to first. Then Dansby hit a hard ball down the third base line and it went off of Moustakas’ glove and the scorer game the Lieutenant a hit. Then, Freddie Freeman, Number 5 on his jersey and Number 1 in our hearts sat curve on the first pitch and hit it 415 or so feet to center. In most ball parks a 414 foot fly ball in fair territory is a home run and it certainly was here.

After Fried’s blister started acting up, Josh Tomlin was in the zone and appeared to be hitting his spots, but the Brewers like those spots. 3 to 2.

Well, this Braves team seems to hate the concept of “Hibernation Mode.” So, they promptly got one back in the 7th and threatened for more. Swarzak and Jackson cleaned up the 8th and ninth, and the Braves threatened again in the 9th, but that was about it.

The Phillies are in freefall as they are playing the Dodgers and got walloped. The next 3 days the Nats have the Orioles, so the streak needs to keep going.

54 thoughts on “Double or nothing: Braves 4, Old Mule Hockey 2”

  1. @1

    The Baltimore O’s
    against our competition being essentially comatose
    it much behooves that the Braves
    continue the Jacksonian saves.

  2. The Nats have had a cupcake schedule over the last month. They’ve played their best baseball of the season and virtually gained no ground on the Braves.

  3. Once their 2 game set against the O’s is over, for the balance of July and into the beginning of Aug, the Nats get Col, LAD, ARI and us for 7 huge (for them) games.

    We have KC, Philly and Cincy in that same time.

    Our Magic number should be in the 40’s after that stretch. 40’s!

  4. …so, quietly, as projections/comparisons for what lies ahead for our competition are bandied about, the Phillies are not even mentioned.

    Sic transit gloria. The Harper 330 Million, the gushing praise for Realmuto vanish into the ether to be brought back out again next March, briefly. Stupid money the owner said. Maybe he was right.

  5. The fighting Phills
    in a battle of wills
    won on paper
    we are having more fun and, likely, a victorious caper.

  6. Not sure I can really find fault with any recent interval of bullpen performance. I suppose I can be accused of looking at it too simplistically, but for me, the bullpen pitches enough across any kind of meaningful sample to where ERA is a perfectly acceptable guide for performance. I really don’t care if the walk rate or the home run rate or the K rate is high or low. At the end of the day, is the bullpen being used in such a way that runs are being left off the board?

    And there’s not a stretch since the early part of the season where that hasn’t been the case. Year to date, we’re second in bullpen ERA in MLB. Last month, #2. Last two weeks, #6. There was about a 10 day stretch before the All-Star break where we were about middle of the pack, but two weeks is almost two short of a sample, let alone a 10-day period.

    For me, I just want to keep throwing internal arms at the problem. People are on here poo-pooing Luke Jackson when the dude is 18th in reliever fWAR, and he hasn’t even been used all season. 19th amongst relievers with at least 40 IP in ERA. Just keep throwing arms at it. Sobotka is on a strong run (2 ER in his last 9.2 IP). Jacob Webb’s given up 1 ER in his last 8.1 IP. Ya just never know until you give them enough time to know.

  7. The Braves have two key stretches where we play the Nats and Phils many times, one that starts after this series concludes (10 games), and another in September (14 games in 15 days). Those 24 games will decide things in the NL East. Other than those games and the two remaining with the Brewers, we only have six games against contenders (3 each with the Twins and Dodgers).

    As bad as the Phillies have been lately, somehow they are still tied for the second wild card. That gives you a sense for how meh the NL has been outside of the Dodgers and Braves so far.

  8. @9

    In October, I don’t want Luke Jackson in the ninth with a one run lead if I can have Will Smith.

  9. I think this is the playoff scenario we want:

    Dodgers top seed
    Braves two
    Brewers three
    Nats over Phillies for the WC

    I think the Nats rotation can match up better with LA, thus giving them a chance. Then we beat the Nats.

  10. The Giants have won ten of their last twelve and are now 3.0 games back in the wild card.

    Will Will Smith even be available if this continues?

  11. Given the Phillies current trajectory I think the Cardinals, Brewers and Diamondbacks have a better shot at getting a WC slot. The Cubs will win the Central. It would be nice otherwise, but I don’t see it. Heck, the Mets may finish ahead of the Phillies.

  12. @13,

    I guess we will find out how good the Giants are with modern math and statistics.

    They have 3 teams in their division (frequently for one of them to lose, another will have to win) above them.

    They have a lower run differential (minus 45) than anybody above them.

    They probably have blown a rebuild each of the last 2 years thinking “yeah, but we are close.”

    So, we will see, won’t we.

  13. The Giants have to trade their pen. They’ve got three relievers everyone wants — Smith, Dyson, and Watson — and an offense that could be charitably described as “horrifying.”

    They’ve got six teams to leapfrog for the second wild card, and they’ve got to do that while staying ahead of CIN and PIT who are barely behind them. Holding onto their guys for the next two weeks would be insane.

    Of course, that never stopped anybody.

  14. Being well acquainted with insanity (I’ve been married to the same saintly woman for nigh on 50 years), I have long since learned never to underestimate the truly nutty. History abounds with stupidity.

  15. The Blue Jays are an interesting trade partner. They are dead last in all of baseball in hitting, but have about 5 pitchers that will be tradeable and a few others that suffer from a small sample size.

  16. @18 Well, you did have those Ender package-for-Stroman rumor from yesterweek.

  17. The Braves will need another starter Saturday. That would be Kolby Allard’s scheduled day at Gwinnett. It remains to be seen if it will be Wilson or Gausman on Sunday. I guess it is whoever pitches better tonight.

  18. My guess is as long as Gausman looks like he’s made progress, he’ll be our Sunday starter. Btw, with Wilson pitching tonight against Woodruff, I would put our win chances around 30% tonight.

  19. The only Braves player that makes me wince when they come to the plate is Flowers.

  20. Chip keeps saying that Ronald is learning to play center field on the job in the big leagues. But didn’t he play mostly CF in the minors?
    I could look it up but I’m lazy and I figured one of y’all would know.

  21. I know I shouldn’t, seeing how this team always has some fight in it but I think I’m calling it a night.

    Seems like a crap matchup, and the batters are just swinging at the first pitch. Woodruff will go 7-8 innings and pass it to Hader.

    Remember to make fun of me if my prediction is wrong.

  22. Do our catchers call the pitches? Just curious.

    Bryce is getting hammered on the first pitch of the at bat.

  23. @32 – On one hand, Ronald played a lot of CF in the minors. On the other hand, most people Ronald’s age are still playing CF in the minors.

  24. Incomprehensible tag play by Ozzie cost us two runs. Acuna made a more than decent catch and got off a good off balance throw which arrived well ahead of the base runner.

    What Ozzie did and didn’t too from that moment on goodness knows. Did the onrushing Cain intimidate him? He took a long time to take the one necessary half step toward the bag and the runner. Anyone?

    Acuna is playing the wet outfield very well.

  25. A lot of guys are getting sawed off. He’s got some nice inside movement to RHHs.

  26. Second time in 24 hours we have been denied an extra base awarded for obstruction.

    Separately, great infield defense from the Brewers.

  27. Perhaps the obstruction rule is similar to the one in softball, in which the advancing baserunner cannot be awarded the next base unless he is thrown out, the logic being that he would have reached base safely had there been no interference.

  28. @43 your sarcasm made me check the game score :p

    Yeah, Freddie has been ice cold for over a week except for those 2 HR swings

    edit: or were you just repeating something Chip said?

  29. @42 – I missed the first one, but pretty sure they got tonight’s right.

    Edit: @44 – If there is no play being made on the runner, it is the umpire’s judgment where to place the runner. I agree with the judgment that Acuna would not have made 3rd absent the obstruction.

  30. Nothing like nearly getting out of an inning but getting screwed over by a catcher who has lost it defensively (and possibly lost his game calling and batting ability as well, tonight’s HR notwithstanding).

  31. With Wilson and Ynoa, it’s a Stripers kinda night. Get ‘em tomorrow, guys.

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