Braves 3, Lingering Sense Of Doom 8

And that’s the difference between the L.A. and Atlanta. One team has a bullpen that can be relied upon, and the other is the Braves.

Atlanta led for most of the game, as Mike Soroka did yeoman’s work in holding down the Dodger offense. He surrendered a solo shot to Cody Bellinger in the second, which is going to happen. But, the Braves answered back in the bottom of the inning with three off Kenta Maeda. Matt Joyce singled in Josh Donaldson and Ender Inciarte, who reinjured his hamstring on the play. Ronald Acuna Jr added the third run when he singled in Adeiny Hechavarria.

Soroka gave one back in the top of the 3rd, when Joc Pederson singled in Matt Beaty to make it 3-2. Soroka then settled down and cruised through the 4th and 5th. He got into one out trouble in the 6th, with a Justin Turner single followed by a Bellinger double. After a Corey Seager walk, he induced a double play grounder from Edwin Rios to escape the jam.

Unfortunately, the Braves were giving us a textbook example of Hibernation Mode. Maeda Hulked up and struck out seven straight Braves. With two down in the 5th, he finally gave up a hit to Donaldson and a walk to Brian McCann, so Dave Roberts went to the pen. Adam Kolarek came in and retired Rafael Ortega, who had taken Ender’s place.

In the 7th, Soroka walked the lead off man, but immediately got a double play to erase him. But with two down, A.J. Pollock pinch hit and singled. With Pederson due up, and having gone 2-2 against Soroka, Snit went to his pen for Sean Newcomb. Walk, three run homer to Max Muncy, solo shot to Justin Turner, and Atlanta was down and all but out.

The Dodgers brougt in Julio Urias, who pitched the last three innings for the save, while Atlanta had Jerry Blevins come in and surrender a two run shot in the 8th to Will Smith for the final tallies.

Anyway, Mike Foltynewicz tomorrow versus Hyun-Jin Ryu. With the Gnatspos winning, the lead is down to 4.5, so it’s time for the Bravos to get serious. We might need some Phil Collins real soon now.

92 thoughts on “Braves 3, Lingering Sense Of Doom 8”

  1. Thank you, Seat Painter.

    The injury situation has gotten a bit serious. We’re down an entire starting OF and we’re scraping by at SS.

  2. Awful, isn’t it? how did we let this happen?

    Risible if you’re not a Brave.

    But still. Roger has more than half a point. We’re better than the others.

  3. I know that relievers are volatile, especially over a small sample size of two and a half weeks, but man is it wearying to sit in front of a game (on TV or in the stadium) dreading each pitching change.

  4. Thanks, SP, under trying conditions to deliver a recap.

    JamesD from yesterday: I’ve answered your question and will report on it on Wednesday. But the short answer is 22 times, and 3 times in the 60’s.

  5. We’re going on about 45 days+ of terrible bullpen work. In June, we had a 2.59 ERA. We were top 10 in K, BB, and H rate. In July, our bullpen ERA doubled, and it’s continued to get worse since.

    Had Newk been about to get the third out, I think we would have seen Sliderman in the 8th, and Melancon in the 9th. We needed more runs, but I think we would have been fine to win the game. Melancon has a microscopic FIP, and Jackson’s is sub-3 as well this month. Chris Martin’s short sample FIP of 3.22 is a little encouraging as well. I’d get Webb up here as soon as possible and just ride Melancon, Webb, Jackson, Swarzak, and ::gulp:: Blevins as a LOOGY until something shakes loose with the other guys.

    Newk needs to become your long reliever working multiple innings until he gets straight with Tomlin hopefully never seeing the field. I don’t know what you do with Wilson. He’s pretty much a wasted roster spot.

  6. For some reason I have this unfounded hope that our bullpen will be better in September.

    Looking at AAA, it is surprising how poorly Pache is doing so far. I know it’s a small sample size, but I didn’t think there was a huge difference between AA and AAA – especially with the inflated hitting numbers. Otoh, Waters has gotten off to a great start. I wonder if that will make any difference, at least for Waters.

  7. This bullpen has to be one of the all-time worst in recent Braves history, right? If the Braves lead isn’t by nine, I just sit and think, “there goes the game” as soon as the starter departs.

  8. An elderly man was a family friend of ours, rest his soul, and he’d always be grouchy about Chris Reitsma.

    “That Reitsma ain’t no pitcher!,” he’d say.

    I’m sure he’s turning over in his grave at this bullpen.

  9. 100% of the times that Duvall has been recalled from Gwinnett, he has immediately embarked on a hot streak. Hope Snit is sharp enough to put him in the 3-hole tonight.

  10. I looked though our pre-season projections and found a lot of what I’m hearing last night and today. A bunch of nattering nabobs of negativity. With the exception of JonathanF’s 162-0 prediction there were only two other over 90. The Braves WILL win more than 90 – you guys are all unreasonably negative.

    By the way, I just checked and, every time since the last time we played the Dodgers, if we lose the first game of a three game series, we’ve won the last two. So keep that in mind.

    The thing that concerns me the most is that injuries have sapped all our offense depth. Our offense is now four guys and cloud of dust. Nothing will change that until injuries to Neck, Riley, Ender, and Dansby subside. Duvall is better than Ortega. Hecchavaria is a great pick-up but only as a bench piece not a starter.

    The salve to our current wounds will have to come from the pitching staff and depth. We need to execute the Gwinnett shuttle more and find consistent relievers or, at least relievers with a burst of consistency. Martin and Melancon are coming around. I think Newk might benefit from a week at Gwinnett. Bring back AJ Minter. Bring back Webb. Give Sobotka another chance. Put Greene on the IL.

    We may end up with a better bullpen by giving more guys fewer innings. Snit choosing the same guys over and over again is not a decent solution. This would only be required for two more weeks. After that, we will have an 18 man bullpen. We can change pitchers after every hit or walk given up.

  11. I feel like tonight’s game will go one of two ways…

    1) Folty will be sharp, and the Braves will win by something like 6-4 after the pen gives up 3 of those runs.

    2) Folty will get clubbed, and it’s going to look like Falcons versus Rams is up on the scoreboard, with a 14-3 type score.

  12. I had the same feeling after the first game against the Twins when we wasted a good start by Soroka. Let’s hope we have a similar conclusion to this series.

  13. They pretty much need an outfield bench bat now. Whether that’s Rafael Ortega or not would influence whether we went and got Billy Hamilton.

  14. @21 Waters is not ready and we need the 40 man roster spots for other prospects. Unless someone steps up big time in the next two weeks, I suspect Pache will be called up and added to the roster by Sept 1st. And Tucker Davidson. Tucker and Folty might be real good options in the bullpen. I hope Bryse turns out to be ready for a job in the pen now, too.

  15. Billy Hamilton is one of the most overrated mlb players around. As a ballplayer he can steal bases and play outfield and that’s about it. He would be useful when the rosters expand as the last player on the roster for a late inning replacement and a pinch runner. I can’t see much more value.

  16. Aargh. Both Charlie and TFlow hit the ball hard. Can’t understand why we can’t get any damn thing from the BABIP gods.

  17. Our pitch calling often baffles me. How do you start this inning with back to back change ups? He has a hard enough time throwing strikes as it is. Just awful.

  18. Flowers is a terrible pitch caller but human umps need to go. The way games are being called these days it almost seems like umpires are trying to be replaced.

  19. @13: “100% of the times that Duvall has been recalled from Gwinnett, he has immediately embarked on a hot streak.”

    Well, there you go.

  20. Stop it everyone. Regardless of the inevitable Muncy HR, Luke got out of that inning with the lead. There is NO reason to believe we can’t win this game.

  21. There is NO reason to believe we can’t win this game.

    What bullpen have you been watching these last six weeks?

  22. Bad call. That was a strike.

    Ha. Good. Got the strikeout anyway.

    Someone give Mr. Greene some love!!! PLEASE! What a great inning.

  23. @64 I’ve been watching a team that is 20 games over .500 and the second best in the league. The bullpen does not fail 100% of the time.

    Get over it, people.

  24. What a game!!!

    That’s the level of play we’re going to have to keep up in October. I’m a bit verklempt.

  25. Never mind, Hader is completely melting down for the Brewers. Nationals tied it 12-12, and now have the bases loaded with no one out in the bottom of the ninth.

  26. @85

    And just like that, Hader strikes out the side. 12-12, going into extras.

    Talk about a game neither team wants to win.

  27. That’s more like it from the bullpen! First overall positive bullpen performance since…I dunno, seems like since the All-Star break.

    Also, Hader decided to turn it on and get out of the bases-loaded, nobody-out jam somehow.

  28. High Drama in DC.

    Brewers take a 2 run lead in top of the 9th. Nats tie and load the bases with no outs. Hader strikes out Turner, Eaton and Rendon.

  29. That Milwaukee-Washington game is on FS1 BTW, for those interested.

    Also, while I’m at it with the national broadcasts, if you’re looking for a break from Chip, tomorrow’s Braves game is available nationally on TBS.

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