Braves 4 – The Royal Bottom Dwellers 5

This game is one where the Braves should make hay, so to speak.  Instead, we were pretty pitiful.  What came out of it first is a question. Should Danny Duffy be a trade target? Has he gotten himself back to where he once was as a potential future ace? The second is a rant. Why in the heck can’t the Braves get a freaking hit with runners in scoring position??? Same thing as what happened with Ross the other night. The Braves knocked a few hits all over the park and couldn’t score any dadgum runs early except for a JD double in the first.

The other observation is that, yes IWOTR, but Keuchel pitched a fantastic game. His final line was 2 ER, 2 W, 3 hits (one of the bunt variety), and 12 Ks through six innings. This guy was worth the bucks.  If he could have only solved Alex Gordon, the start would have been even better.  I guess Gordon is one of the last solid veterans left on the team and had both the RBIs.  Keuchel only made it through 6 innings because all those strikeouts ran up his pitch count.

Duffy looked very good and was even more smart than good.  After getting knocked around by the righties the first time through the order, he hit and then walked Acuna and hit Donaldson, and so avoided having to really face them.  Freddie, Nick and the rest of the team were busy striking out as Duffy ran his count up to 11Ks.  And they were a combined 0-7 with runners in scoring position through six.  Freddie, Dansby, and Nick accounted for 4 Ks and a combined 11 runners left on base to that point.  Of course, Chip was quick to point out that Duffy struck out 9 of his last 12 batters.  Again, is Duffy a target?  We could probably get Duffy and Kennedy for not much if we’re willing to part with some cash.

By the time the 6th was over and both Keuchel and Duffy left the game, the Royals had a 2-1 lead.  Seemed like the Braves played the gNats instead of the Royals.  I hate it when good teams play down to the competition.  Finally, in the 7th Ronald stole a base and Freddie hit a single that tied the game up.  Unfortunately, our old friend Lucas Duda promptly untied it in the top of the 8th with a mammoth solo shot.  I guess the General is not perfect after all.  Maybe we should only let him pitch to NL batters.

It was still the 8th when, after the Duda HR, everything totally fell apart and the old Braves bullpen showed up.  The General gave up a walk and a single which brought in Parsons who promptly walked two more and, of course, walked in a run.  And a HBP scored the next run.  Parsons, as before, is not any kind of answer again.  It was a Grybo-fest.  It made me sick to watch it.  I probably would have turned it off if I didn’t have to finish my recap.  Tomlin came in and scored a GIDP to end the inning.  Why not bring him in earlier?  Ugh.  Note that I don’t want to take anything away from Sobotka who did his job very well in the 7th.

The only silver lining is that I figured we were going to get a chance to see our other trade targets – Diekman and Kennedy.  Diekman reminded me a lot of the way Minter’s been throwing so you can imagine what that meant.  Ozzie singled and Flowers took a HBP.  Charlie Clutch came up next and hit a wicked bouncer that had the freakiest spin on it.  The ball took one bounce and hopped right over the SS for an RBI single (honestly, he never touched it).  Of course, Minter came in in the top of the 9th and was perfect.  LOL.

With a 2 run lead, Kennedy came in to try for the save.  He promptly gave up three singles in a row to Dansby, Freddie, and JD and the Braves were down only a run with men on 1st and 2nd and no outs.  I thought the cardiac kids were about to give us another thrill, but it was not to be.  After Nick grounded out, Ozzie popped out (on the first pitch, of course), and Riley struck out, the game was over.  The final tally was 3-15 with runners in scoring position.  It’s hard to imagine getting 15 opportunities with RISP but to only cash in 3 is absolutely ridiculous.  We need to do something to change our karma on that.  In the end it was just another heartbreak Tuesday.

I sure did not like what I saw from Diekman and Kennedy.  We are better off with Minter and Jackson than Diekman and Kennedy.

95 thoughts on “Braves 4 – The Royal Bottom Dwellers 5”

  1. That didn’t take long.

  2. @Ryan from prior thread. I was not “all in” on my argument just trying to look at things from a different angle. I’m getting kinda tired of talking about getting pitchers that there’s about 100% chance we’re not gonna get. Mainly because their teams will never in a million years trade them. Greinke, Bumgarner, Bauer (or any other Indians pitcher), Minor, Yates, probably Smith, Thor, etc…. What’s left is no one we want. Really only Stroman, Giles, and Greene make any sense and 15 other teams will be bartering for the same guys. Maybe Givens. Wheeler might be available if he’s healthy but I think Van Wagenen’s ego is too big to let him make a reasonable trade.

  3. I wonder if Webb is ready to be activated from the IL. I would expect him to be the corresponding move.

  4. We are widely becoming known as an offense two of whose high profile hitters cannot hit fastballs. So they both get them by the bucketful with all the effort seemingly going into pace with little needed in the guile department. And, at the moment, it’s working.

    Acuna was described tonight as an excellent breaking ball hitter. Correct. The rest left unsaid.

    Riley looks the same to me but worse by degree – that one lollipop curve ball seemed to present no problem to him as he singled. His final at bat though, with the tying and winning runs on base, was atrocious.On three pretty much identical heaters – back to back to back- he was lost. I don’t believe he touched any of them.

    What are we to make of all this? Be patient? I have no idea.

  5. @3 Thor should be traded, but you’re likely right- he won’t be.

    I think Bauer is dealt, otoh. The Indians aren’t going to take a bunch of single A kids for a return, I don’t believe. You’re looking at a cash strapped team that could use upgrades, though. The easiest way to do it for them might be to reallocate resources by dealing Bauer.

  6. Parsons sent down. Jeremy Walker called up.

  7. Thanks, Roger.

    Get them today, Braves. Get some pitching help today, AA.

    Today, not yesterday, matters.

    Go Braves!

  8. I’m just gonna repost this from last thread since I posted it during the game:

    Do we really need to give up an elite prospect in AA or higher for a starter?

    If one of Gausman, Fried, or Folty emerged as a legit TOR-type pitcher by the end of the season, meaning a sub-3 ERA, pitching deep into ballgames, consistent, the whole thing, would you be comfortable with going into a playoff series with Keuchel, Soroka, and one of those 3 as your first 3 starters? Then if you needed a 4th starter, you could consider starting Keuchel on short rest, Teheran, or the second-best of those other three.

    I’m really done with the pitchers who have not demonstrated 2019 success at the major league level like Wilson, Touki, and Wright. We’re over 100 games in now, and I’d probably say, at best, you have another 20 games where you can try out prospects. I would continue to cycle arms like Weigel, Ynoa, Dayton, Sobotka, Parsons, etc. throughout the back end of the pen to see if someone can work their way into a higher leverage spot.

    So let’s consider a hypothetical 5 game playoff series. This offense is good enough to blow a team out in one game. So there’s one win. In that event, go ahead and pull that pitcher and save them to come back on 4 days rest. Give the pen a night off too. So do you see our other pitches outdueling your NLDS’ opponents’ guys? I do. Assuming health, your pen is also plenty able to handle, say, 3 games in a 6 day period. You’d be able to throw your newly acquired closer (we’ll get somebody), Swarzak, Jackson, Newcomb, and whoever steps up between now and then.

    I think that wins a playoff series, something we haven’t done since the beginning of the century? Does it beat the Dodgers? That’s where you gotta ask yourself: do you want to trade Ian Anderson or Drew Waters or Austin Riley or Cristian Pache or Kyle Wright to give yourself a better but non-guaranteed chance of beating the Dodgers? Because then you have to beat the Yankees or Astros too.

    That’s me resigning myself to the Braves not trading a FV 55+ prospect for a TOR who’s still making a lot of money or a rental by really trying to take inventory. But if AA is the magnificent bastard that I think he is, he’ll be able to trade guys with value who are not playing a role in 2019 — Ender, Camargo, Duvall, Demeritte, Minter, etc. — to get the pieces we need for this year, and it’ll all be great. But I’d really rather not trade 6 years of control for someone either making a lot of money or is a rental, but fortunately I think the Braves agree.

    Disclaimer: if the Braves trade for Marcus Stroman or Mike Minor or Zack Greinke and Drew Waters is headed in the other direction, guess who won’t have any tears?

  9. Thanks Roger.

    Still, this team shows no quit.

    Is Walker on the 40 (I thought not). If not, whom do we move off the 40?

    The scouting the stat line thing with Jonny Venters took me right to where Walker is. Venters was at 9 K / 9 with a 10 to 1 strikeout to walk ration. If you keep filling up the zone and they aren’t killing you, you have to be at least mediocre.

  10. If one of Gausman, Fried, or Folty emerged as a legit TOR-type pitcher by the end of the season…

    Let me answer that by asking you this: how did you feel about the rotation last year when both Gausman and Folty emerged as “legit TOR-type” pitchers down the stretch, one with an ERA south of 3, the other a sub-3 for the season? Did you think they were going deep into the playoffs?

    I look at this in two ways. If the right player is there, they would pay a king’s ransom for him. I’ve got all the insider evidence I need to believe it now. If they don’t make a move for a starter, it doesn’t mean that they’re content with the rotation. They’ve been on the market to improve it for more than a year now. Whatever Gausman or Folty does isn’t going to change that.

    They’re probably not going to get their guy at this year’s deadline, but they’ve been after someone for a while.

  11. Gausman or Folty as “legit TOR-type” ain’t happening. They’d have a better shot kidnapping Max Scherzer, forcing a Toussant jersey on him and hoping nobody notices.

    Gausman’s last start was promising, but even if he went the rest of the season with a sub-2 ERA, I’m not gonna trust him to toe the rubber against Kershaw or Lester in October.

  12. Found out that Gohara has not been moved to the 60 day il ( try to type that in capitals.) WHY he hasn’t been moved is strange to me, but at least that solves one problem.

    On the trade stuff: I think AA will try to pick up a starter and up to 2 relievers and try to swap lower quality 40 man talent for younger players. Whether starter or relievers are pure rentals (gone after this year) will depend on what you have to pay to get them.

    Any of those could happen. All of them will not.

  13. Yeah, sure…

  14. I’m starting to think that this is going to be a relatively tame trade deadline. The bulk of the moves may be for relievers. There maybe a couple of starting pitchers moved, but it might not be any true headliners as those teams are either on the fringes of a playoff spot or they simply want too damn much.

    All that said, the usual big spenders just don’t seem all that hungry for some reason. I think the Phillies may do their annual “something stupid” like pay big for Matt Boyd. Beyond that, MLB front offices just seem more patient than we’ve ever seen them before.

  15. Donny, the difference is that this year we have Mike Soroka and Dallas Keuchel, who supplement the internal options more than Anibal Sanchez.

  16. Besides this past offseason, when was the last time the Phillies actually did something that big?

  17. Donny, I considered Mike’s second paragraph to be hyperbole, who I genuinely asked him to consider the scenario that happened just last year.

  18. For real. If Gausman rattled off 10 straight starts with a new pitch mix and a sub-2 ERA, I highly doubt Mike continues to say that.

  19. @21 It’s my bad. I just didn’t want to get overlooked because of other comments that are easier to respond to.

  20. Yeah, Rob, I don’t believe that anything Folty or Gausman do right now actually changes the course the front office is plotting. Like, if a real legit TOR-type was on the market, they would either trade for him or not, but it wouldn’t be because of Folty/Gausman having good games. That sounds to knee-jerk for a professional front office, and I don’t believe they’re really in the market for a #3 starter right now.

  21. To add on to @24, I think they’re really only interested in a starter who moves the needle in the playoffs for them, and the reason I believe that is because they were supposedly in on a deal to land that type of starter in the off-season (when they had to believe they had a healthy Folty and Gausman) and that deal isn’t necessarily dead, hence I think they’re cautious to spend second tier prospects as that’s ammo they don’t want to use up unless, again, it moves the needle for them.

  22. Based on what we currently have, we may be able to win the east, depending on what the Nats do.

    We face the Nats 14 more times and will probably see their studs 6-7 times.

    In the playoffs, our pitching matches up well with the Cubs. Though, they have a lot of injuries to their starters and you have to think they will get healthy.

    The Dodgers rotation is deeper than ours.

    I don’t know if we absolutely have to get a TOR guy, but if we got a really good number two and slot in the three spot, we would be dangerous.

    I would also get three relievers. Our bullpen has 2-3 good pitchers in it.

  23. The Braves didn’t trust Gausman to start a playoff game last year, even after his strong second half.

  24. So is Gohara to the 60 day IL the corresponding move or not? Walker was an inevitable call-up as he is due for Rule 5 protection this winter. If he’s “the one” then we may not make one of the reliever trades. Maybe he can be the next Webb.

  25. Gohara was never added to the active roster, which he would have to be to be put on the 60-day. Braves aren’t doing that as this way, he gets no service time and the Braves get another year of control.

    I may have that wrong, but it is what I have read.

    May also impact whether he earns a minor league salary this year or a major league one, but I don’t know the answer to that.

  26. Fangrpahs has added team farm rankings to their prospect board today. Braves rank 5th but basically tied with 4th and 6th. But the kicker is that the Braves have the fewest prospects listed (40FV or higher) except for one team (Mets). However, the Braves also, by far, have the highest average prospect value. That means either we have to give up fewer prime prospects to make a trade or hold them all.

    Also, the most recent guess FG has about our trade prospects along with Kennedy is Marco Gonzales. Not sure if that’s good or not. He has lots of value and control but he’s not a TOR (likely a 2-3). And Dipoto has already traded with us once this year.

  27. Or they could DFA one of the relievers at AAA like Carle who doesn’t appear to be coming back.

  28. @27 Waters for a RP!?! No, no, no… Morosi should just stick to covering the WBC stuff, and NOT make up hypothetical trades. He’s bad at it.

  29. Weren’t Parsons and Wright the only two Braves pitchers not expected to make the team out of spring training, but they had such good springs they were given a shot? If I’m not mistaken, Biddle and Carle were also borderline, but a good spring put them on the opening day roster too. Am I remembering correctly? If so, that is a pretty strong statement about spring training stats.

  30. Today is the last day before Gohara can be activated and sent to the 60-day IL. The reason is that players on the 60-day accrue service time (and MLB pay!) and then become eligible for arbitration earlier. By waiting until tomorrow the Braves put off any Gohara arbitration until 2023 at the earliest.
    We didn’t go this route with Winkler and we will likely release him this offseason as a result.

  31. I highly doubt the Braves are considering trading someone like Waters for someone like Vazquez. I could be wrong, but I seem to think that the Braves find relievers to be fungible from year-to-year the way fans and analysts seem to. It would be weird for them to give up that much.

    Unless his name is Josh Hader.

  32. Hard to scout the stat line, but these are Folty’s starts since his demotion to AAA:

    6/29: 7.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
    7/4: 5 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
    7/13: 5 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4K
    7/18: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
    7/24 (today): 7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

    I do find it noteworthy that his worst outing came after a 9-day layoff for the All-Star break. Otherwise, I’m not sure what more they’d be looking for from him unless they want him to continue to work on something specific.

    I think it’s a nice idea that Folty or Gausman may become relievers, but the Braves seem clear that they prefer them as starters. So if you acquire a starter, you have one new starter, Soroka, Keuchel, Fried, Folty, Teheran, and Gausman. That’s 7 options, which would really give you an opportunity to keep Fried and Soroka’s innings down, though Fried’s blister makes that an easier arrangement for him. And more importantly, we will be spared any future starts by Wright and Wilson. We are 1-7 in the games in which those two pitched, and they only got out of the 5th inning twice in those games (one apiece).

    That’s a Dodgerian amount of rotation depth to fend off the NL East attackers.

  33. Julio isn’t going deep into this game.

    For those of you not tuned in, they interviewed AA. Most notably he said the team is currently more in the market for a reliever than a starter.

  34. JOSH!!!!

    Y’all, I love Josh so much and if we screw up our chance at a deep playoff run while he’s here I’m going to be distraught.

  35. This dude is going to throw a maddux like complete game on about 90 pitches. I don’t know where the offense went but they better find it quick. The division lead is shrinking

  36. It’s hard to tell which one of these teams is leading their division by the way the two teams look

  37. Good outing, Julio. Two runs, unearned yet, through six. I’ll take it every game, if only we could hit.

  38. If you had told me that Julio would make it through 6 innings after the second I would not have believed you.

  39. Forget looking for relievers, the team needs a bat to wake the whole team up, kinda like what Riley did in mid may when the offense was scuffling similarly and I was calling for the batting coach to be fired.

    I wouldn’t be opposed to bringing up duvall and demeritte while sending down camargo and Riley, and see what they can do.

  40. Take a pitch for crissakes. Nick shows them how to do it and the next two guys both GO on the 1st pitch.

  41. 78, I mean, its maybe a bit radical, but its still reasonable in my humble opinion.

    I appreciate having someone not disagree with me :)

    The ATL organization in general just seems slow to adapt and make changes, I don’t know if its an issue with Snitker, AA , Liberty media or what. Case in point , not having Markakis in a platoon situation is actively hurting the club, and no one outside of some fan sites even mentions this.

  42. Good show, Newk. Heck, good pitching all night from both sides. It would be nice to score a few runs.

  43. At this point no one throwing 95 and above should be throwing Ronald anything other than fastballs.

  44. Let’s get this lefty. Up to you, Ozzie.

    Seriously, that guy chewed us up. Was that a fluke, or is he someone we want?

  45. I know Acuna can hit those FBs. He’s just missing. Those pitches are right down the middle – exactly the one he waylaid last year.

  46. 86 yup, two more fastballs right down the middle missed. And these were really down the middle, in case that guy from the previous game thread is here.

    I read today that Acuna has the most swings and misses to 95+ fastball in all of MLB.

  47. That was an incredibly pitiful show of hitting. Not a single foul ball. Again, I’ll point out that it’s the youngsters having the big problems. Culberson had no problem getting a hit – hitting like he always does. Seitzer should be fixing this. They need to go to the cage and just hit FBs right down the middle 97 and up.

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