Whoever the Crap’s Tube it is: Braves 1, The Herbally Intoxicated 3

Somebody came up with the idea for the Braves to play a game on something called “You Tube TV.” Yes, I am yelling for kids to get off of my lawn. This game started during my work day, but then I can finish this off in the evening instead of the next morning.

Major League Baseball’s scheduling experts are not really experts. They are more like idiots. This is 2 times in the past 2 to 3 years the Braves have had to make a game up in Colorado from a “snow out’ in April. Why not stay “in division” in April? Then, the flight is not quite as far as New York to Denver to Toronto. Why not tell Colorado “go dome or start on the road?”

So, at 1:20 MDT, a game started. The Rockies are pitching a Tim Melville. He is sort of a late career Anibal Sanchez or something. Lots of junk that isn’t too fast. Acuna grounded out, Ozzie doubled and 3 and 4 struck out.

Julio, who has tended to pitch well at Coors Field and against the Rockies, gave up a one out single to Trevor Story, but got a double play grounder from Nolan Arenado.

Top of 2, Joyce flied out, Dansby singled, and Francisco Cervelli practiced the ground ball with force play available at second and got the same result as Arenado. So, Cervelli is as good as Arenado? O. K.!!!

Bottom of 2 it was still “Good Julio” who gave up one walk and nothing else. Top of 3, leadoff single by our man Mr. Ortega and Good Julio bunted him to second, but Acuna grounded out and Albies struck out.

Bottom of 3 was more good Julio. One walk, but otherwise, nothing else. Top of 4 we got Freeman on with a walk and then HE STOLE A BASE. Matt Joyce singled and the home plate umpire said Freeman was out. The “New York” crew (isn’t that where the Mets are from?) didn’t overturn it because they couldn’t be sure Freddie’s foot was down on the base. Really? After that, nothing more in that inning.

More Good Julio in 4. Arenado started it with a single, but Julio’s and Dallas’ best friend the GIDP followed, then on to 5.

WE really pushed the harpoon at Melville in 5. A double from Cervelli. A long fliner (line drive / fly ball type thingy) from Ortega put Cervelli at third with one out. Julio struck out. Acuna walked after a long at bat, coming back from 0-2. Then, he stole second. Then Ozzie walked. So FF5 comes to home plate. I believe he has a moral objection to grand slams. Something like that is too many runs for one team at one time. So, no, he didn’t finally get a slam. He grounded to the second baseman playing short right field. Melville got to 100 pitches and would get pulled.

Bottom of 5, more Good Julio. Two groundouts, then a walk, then the pitcher’s pinch hitter grounded out. The pinch hitter was a Daza. Isn’t that like a Middle Eastern meat cut, the Daza Strip?

Top of 6 and we get to see Wes Parsons. How ya been, Wes? Well, except for a Matt Joyce walk, you looked pretty good against us.

On to the bottom. Julio starting off in the 80’s on pitch count and the top of the Rockies order for the 3rd time. Ruh, Roh! He got Blackmun. Then, Trevor Story singled. After a long at bat, Arenado struck out. Then, Story stole second, but Daniel Murphy flied out to end the threat. Hmm? What will Snit do on his pitching move with Julio due up second in the next half?

Well, Ortega grounded out. Then, Charlie Clutch Culberson came in. 3 pitches, 3 strikes, return to dugout. Then Acuna. The first 2 pitches were balls. I was thinking “Yeah, Parsons is going to be real careful with RAJ.” Well, the next 3 pitches were strikes and he got to turn around as well.

Sliderman came on. McMahon grounded out. Then, Ian Desmond. He grounded out. Then, the silk stocking lawyer Garrett Hampson. Strike out. Isn’t it great to have Luke pitching the 7th?

So, top of 8. Albies hit a pop up foul a long way down the 3rd base line and Arenado got to it, but couldn’t corral it. Albies struck out anyway. But Freddie Freeman saw that and decided to place one in a similar spot but fair. And, Arenado lost that one in the sun as well. And Freddie Freeman ended up on 2nd. But Donaldson flied out to center and Joyce did also. Is this really Coors Field?

Chris Martin came in and gave up a double to a Dom Nunez. Acuna may have cruised a little picking it up or else that might not have worked for Nunez. Then Yonder Alonson, as opposed to Dis Heuh Alonso, broke his bat and Swanson threw him out, but Nunez went to 3rd. And then, Blackmun hit a sacrifice fly, and things weren’t looking good for the visiting 9. Would that single run hold up? Well, Trevor Story singled. Then, Arenado stepped up to the plate. But Story tried to wander off, and Martin threw to first, Freeman to Albies, and Colorado challenged the tag. And, tag was upheld. So, on to 9.

First batter was Dansby. All day to me he looked a little off or a little slow. I don’t think he has played enough to be ready for ML pitching. Yairo Diaz was attempting to get his first save. Dansby struck out. But the Baseball Gods favor Francisco Cervelli and his looping liner was missed by Blackmun on a diving catch attempt and it rolled to the wall and Cervelli ended up on third. Snit put in Billy Hamilton to run. Ortega battled to a walk. Then Snit sent up Hechevarria to hit. I might have gone with Flowers since he had to come into the next half anyway, but Hech lined one to right that Blackmun caught near the wall, and Billy Hamilton could have scored from second. Tie game. Acuna up. This team never says die. Ortega stole second. Acuna struck out on a checked swing, so on to bottom of 9. Will there be “free baseball?”

Well, no. Swarzak walked Arenado. Blevins came in and got Murphy on a strikeout. Then, Blevins stayed in on LEFTHANDED McMahon who had an o fer going. Well, McMahon walked it off.

104 thoughts on “Whoever the Crap’s Tube it is: Braves 1, The Herbally Intoxicated 3”

  1. Agreed with Dansby being rushed even though he nearly had 2 HR today.
    Offense from the top 4 in the lineup was pathetic.

  2. Offense has been cold for much of the hot streak. When the offense is riding on the first four hitters, that’s going to happen at some point.

    Dansby will have to shake the rust off. It will likely be the same for Riley–provided he has made some adjustments.

    I never wanted to say this, but this team needs Nick Markakis back. An offense can only go so far with four spots in the lineup held by guys like Tyler Flowers, Hech, Ortega, and Joyce/Culberson.

  3. Really thought Dansby pulled a Chipper in his first AB (homering fresh of the IL). I’d imagine it’ll take several games for him to get his timing back. Not sure why he didn’t a longer rehab stint with Hech playing so well.

  4. cliff
    you’re no stiff
    your recap as all was happening before you
    ensured we could hardly ignore you.

    Great job, well done.

  5. thoughts from the game…

    Acuna, when did you last square one up?
    65 called strike threes in the last 2 weeks.Loafing in the field?
    Cervelli…GOD
    Heech…God’s acolyte. El oppo boppo.Always oppo.
    Ortega…plucky at bats
    St. Luke…promotion awaits. Reclaim what is rightfully yours.
    Billy H…you terrified them.
    Bullpen…ended at sixes and blevins.
    Dansby… Most encouraging first two AB’s.
    The General…missing at the G7

  6. The Braves have never faced Melville or Parsons. Facing pitchers we’ve never seen before will not be a problem in the playoffs. This is the optimistic me talking.

  7. Nice recap but Freeman was safe at home when they called and upheld out in the third despite not running hard from second to third. Then Swanson’s hit a homer that was improperly called foul with Ortega on base. The ball hit in the section in fair territory covered with the pink tarp. Everyone knows Freeman will not take a walk with bases loaded and he gets nothing to hit. Freeman is selfish in those situations and frequently gets owned, look at the history.

  8. @10, coming into this game, Freeman had had eight PAs this year with the bases loaded, and he walked twice.

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/play-index/split_stats.cgi?full=1&params=bases%7C111%7Cfreemfr01%7Cbat%7CAB%7C

    Your larger point is fair; overall in his career, Freddie is hitting just .284/.316/.370 with the sacks full of Braves.

    That said, you’d expect every hitter to have a lower walk rate with bases loaded compared to other situations given the pitcher’s extreme incentive to throw strikes.

    And that’s exactly so.

    MLB hitters in 2019
    Overall: .253/.323/.437
    With bases loaded: .272/.316/.471

    The whole league has a lower OBP, and higher slugging, with bases loaded. So Freddie’s low OBP isn’t a surprise. The surprise is his low slugging, and it certainly seems like you could be right that he’s pressing in those situations.

  9. Our bats are ice cold and yet we just ended an 8-game win streak. That’s pretty crazy.

    Now is not the time to peak, save it for the Gnats series and late next month. Would like to see Ozzie and Acuna get some days off soon.

  10. Let’s start a new one in Canada!

    Or, perhaps Soroka is our Superman, and now that he’s returned to his motherland his powers will be reduces.

  11. @10 I disagree with your point about Freeman being selfish with the bases loaded. I’m not sure how far back you’re digging to support your thesis, but Freeman’s played on some really bad Braves teams, with really bad clean up guys behind him. Odds are if he didn’t drive those men in, no one would. So you’d probably want him swinging at everything under the sun.

    This year he has a real prototypical clean up man behind him, and as Alex pointed out- 2 walks in 8 appearances.

  12. I would like to see Dansby in the 2 hole just because he is a better situational hitter than Ozzie and will take some pitches and change his philosophy based on the situation. Ozzie just does what Ozzie does, and while we all love him, sometimes we need a productive out instead of a quick swing

  13. @14

    O Soroka! Our pitcher of the year!
    True starter stuff: the hurler batters fear
    On every mound we see you work
    The True ace that we need!
    September looms,
    O Soroka, we keep our Eastern lead.
    Mike keeps our team first in the East!
    O Soroka, you are a pitching beast.
    O Soroka, you are a pitching beast.

  14. Soroka has the lowest career ERA among all Canadian pitchers who have pitched more than 10 career innings.

  15. @17 … Wow!

    A sudden onset of verse
    for some that could hardly be worse
    while others explode in delight
    such beauty, morning noon and night.

  16. Well done on the Canadian National Anthem to Soroka National Anthem transition! My Canadian wife is sure to love it when I show it to her later.

  17. Just had a look at the Blue Jays starters’ stats. After Stroman’s departure, it’s been a mess. They don’t seem to have a single quality starter?
    Of course, I am aware that this means that they will shut us out tonight.

  18. @20 – I have always appreciated Kurt Vonnegut’s description of the words to the U.S. anthem as “gibberish sprinkled with question marks.”

  19. The Blue Jays still say tbd on the starter for tonight. Is it going to be a bullpen game?

    Also Sunday the 8th is slated to be Soroka/Scherzer if the rotations don’t get altered.

  20. Darren O’Day is now at High-A. Please remind me how it works. Does the player have to be on the 40-man on September 1st to be eligible for the postseason roster?

  21. From MLB.com’s 30 potential September callups article:

    Ian Anderson, RHP (Braves No. 3, MLB No. 32)
    While it would be exciting to see either of the dynamic outfielders in Triple-A (Cristian Pache or Drew Waters) come up, it seems more likely the Braves would use their pitching depth for more help. Anderson is a starter long-term, but the 21-year-old Futures Gamer could bolster the ‘pen down the stretch.

    https://www.mlb.com/braves/news/30-potential-september-callups

  22. What was your base quite escaped me.

    It’s just been so long that we ran the show up there.

    Viva Soroka.

  23. With not getting a day off, it sure couldn’t hurt to rest Freddie. Ozzie and RAJ are very young and can definitely handle all 162 games, though.

  24. Again, Freddie gets a day off on Thursday. Giving him a day off on a week where he gets a day off anyway seems silly. Also, the obsession with days off around here… . No, we can’t give our entire top four a day off to “get right,” they’re just gonna have to figure it out…and they will.

    @25, I believe since he’s on the injured list the Sept. 1 deadline does not apply to him and he’d be eligible for postseason whenever he’s ready.

  25. @29 Actually, yeah, I’d probably rest him tomorrow instead of today. Get him a couple of days off in a row. That’s actually not uncommon to do.

    30 year old baseball players tend to get a little more time off, too. Freeman turns 30 on 9/12.

  26. @30

    No, I’m advocating that days off be interspersed into long stretches of like 20 games in a row, not a week where a day off is coming anyway.

    I’m also saying that a day off isn’t really the magic bullet every time somebody hits the skids for a couple days.

    And finally, this is starting to alleviate itself, but giving people days off during a stretch where your lineup is only four deep because of injury is probably not a super-great idea, lest your lineup start looking like a Bobby Cox Sunday lineup.

  27. That lineup is going to be “only four deep” the rest of the year, probably. I mean Swanson is back, but the lineup is still only four deep. Riley doesn’t change that, either, by that logic.

    Freddie is probably going to make every start this year. It just wouldn’t hurt to rest him for a day, especially with all the jet lag from that stupid make-up game with the Rockies.

  28. https://blogs.fangraphs.com/the-conversion-arm-compendium/

    There’s a Brave in this list I wasn’t familiar with,
    Kurt Hoekstra.

    “Kurt Hoekstra, Atlanta Braves (35+ FV, Org Rank: 29):
    If anyone on this list raises alarms for how quickly they’ve moved up the minor league ladder, it’s Hoekstra, who made some emergency relief appearances at Triple-A in July, before settling in at Double-A Mississippi, where he has been dominant for the last month. Hoekstra was a high school shortstop and closer who later played second base at Western Michigan, then tumbled down the defensive spectrum in pro ball. He threw a few innings during blowouts in 2018, then became a full time pitcher in 2019.

    Hoekstra is not a comfortable at-bat for right-handed hitters, who often bail on curveballs that appear headed for their shoulders or elbows, but instead dip and land in the zone for strikes. He sits 91-94 and has touched 96. He needs a better way to deal with lefties and he has below-average control, but this guy only has 60 career innings so that may still be coming, even though he’s 26.”

  29. Lineup has Joyce at DH, Ortega in LF, and Hamilton in CF.

    Man, I can’t wait to get our horses back.

  30. 36 — I think he is a guy who was recently converted from a position player to a pitcher.

  31. And that’s why Dansby should be hitting second and Freddie’s grounder would have scored the run

  32. I guess Freddie shouldn’t hit third or Ronald leadoff. Their at bats haven’t been much to brag about lately either.

  33. @44 that’s not the point. Ozzie isn’t a prototypical 2 hitter. He doesn’t take pitches or situational hit

  34. There you go, Soroka! One of his first good innings playing in Canada, I’m sure that’s got to feel settling.

  35. He definitely needs to be back up Sept. 1st, and I’m sure he will.

  36. The better rule would be that if it’s your team’s fan who causes the interference, it’s not an out.

  37. That’s one of the funnier fan interference events I’ve seen. I think it was because the guy was so clearly mortified for screwing up so badly.

  38. We are finally going through what I hoped we could avoid this year – the dreaded team slump.

    Camargo might actually help at this point. Each time we’ve threatened a team slump, someone has come along and busted it before it began. We’ll have to wait until Sept 1st.

  39. All the guys that you’d expect to be sucky are getting on base, and it’s been our top 4 that are MIA.

    Let’s go Ronald.

  40. I’ve ha to censor myself tonight to keep from sounding overly negative.

    I’m signing off before I blow my top.

  41. The Blue Jays have given their best imitation of being a good baseball team so far tonight. Fortunately so have the Orioles against the gnats.

  42. I’m not sure how you can feel great about Flowers taking up a starting spot on a playoff roster.

  43. Flowers calls such a bad game, can’t hit and leads the world in passed balls. Seems legit he has a roster spot on a first place team

  44. That was quite the inning, Newk: three walks, a home run and only one run. Not good but amazing.

  45. This is hardly a recipe for success, but miracles happen.

    That’s the Flowers I know and loathe.

  46. OMG, Ronald was horrible that AB. He took a perfect center cut FB on the first pitch and swung weakly at two pitches out of the zone. He needs to be attacking that first pitch again.

  47. As someone who grew up watching Biggio, Bichette, and Guerrero, I don’t really care for the reboots.

  48. @61 I have no doubt Camargo will be back up Sept 1, but I’d caution against getting too excited. Duvall was swinging it like Ruth in Gwinnett as well.

  49. @94

    Can I join the club, this has been going on in varying degrees for at least two months…so much so it’s a fair guess the word is well and truly out with the league’s pitchers.

    Not so much though as the first pitch in the first game here which he ‘overdid’ in its hittability. But they nailed him at least twice subsequently, it’s maddening to watch.

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