I Have No Idea What to Think: Phils 5 – Braves 4

There has to be something wrong with me. I must have totally screwed up my biorhythm.  And I was so excited for tonight’s game thinking I could be the guy that recaps on the night the Braves clinch at least a tie for the division. I had the recap half written in my head with some clever song lyrics. But, of course, we still had to actually play the game. And, you know, the game started out great. The Braves, who have a history of beating up on Vince Velasquez, beat up on Vince Velasquez for two runs in the bottom of the first. An Ozzie triple, Freddie walk, JD sac fly, and two singles by Markakis and Joyce was a nice beginning.  And Dallas Keuchel gave us three nearly perfect innings (one hit) with some stellar defense behind him.

At this point, the game got strange. First, I see that Kendrick hits a HR to put the gNats up on the Cards 2-1, hurting that part of my evening. Then, after getting a quick GO from JTR, the fun began. For whatever reason I’ll never know, Donaldson came halfway across the diamond (shift adjusted) to try and field an easy ground ball that Dansby would have not had to move more than a step to field. He booted it in what the official scorer called a hit (are you kidding me?? I can count the ways on two hands that was multiple types of errors). JD surprised Dansby so badly that he didn’t know how to react. Naturally, what happened next was a HR by Hoskins who was barely hitting Mendoza levels since the ASB.

Now this HR would not have been so bad as a solo shot, but a 2-run job tied the game. And on the very next play, Keuchel, himself, deflected ANOTHER easy grounder to Dansby for another IF hit. After that Keuchel was clearly affected and laboring. And the result was a SeanRod single with Kingery going from first to third, a run-scoring GO by CesarH, and a HR by Pirela. Jose Pirela was a guy just added to take the place of an injured Corey Dickerson.  He hadn’t stuck in the majors all year while hitting close to .200 and had 0 HRs this year before tonight. Like Rafael Ortega, Pirela had a great year at AAA, though. 5-2 Phils now.

The Braves started using their extra hitters in the 8th and they came through where the starters couldn’t.  Hechavarria hit a PH solo shot in the 8th and Duvall led off the 9th with a solo shot to make it a one run game.  Ronald made it exciting with a walk and a SB.  Ozzie got him over to 3rd with one out.  But Donaldson struck out and Markakis popped out and the game was over.  No magic tonight.

After the first inning, the Braves regulars hit pitifully including 13 strikeouts.  The Braves blew multiple opportunities but almost all were with two out and we were 1/10 with RISP.  Our bullpen was OK; their bullpen was OK.  The whole difference was the one run which should be unearned on Donaldson’s gaffe in the 4th.  The gNats scored 2 more runs in the 8th and one in the 9th to beat the Cards 6-2.  The Braves lost 5-4.  I guess someone else will have the honor of recapping on clinch night.  Sigh.

52 thoughts on “I Have No Idea What to Think: Phils 5 – Braves 4”

  1. Roger, for all this pain you’ve carried on Tuesday nights you deserve redemption, the clincher, talk to Rob. Offer money, food, whatever.

    I’m still thinking about EECH, that ball was long gone, tasty and provocative.. Dansby better get his skates on. Freddie needs more rest surely. How is Cervelli? What did you think about O’Day and the rejuvenated General? I did see the Oz rollover twice tonight, did i not? The left still cannot match the right, likely never will, but it’s still precious to us.

  2. I totally take the blame for this… I have to teach judo on Wednesday nights so I will not be able to watch or listen to most of the game tonight. That means if we won last night then tonight would have potentially been the clinch game and I just can’t miss that. So tonight we win when I can’t watch then tomorrow when I can watch we can win to clinch.

  3. I would think that getting SF for 3 games, KC for 2, and a dying and dejected Mets team for 3 will allow us to at least finish 6-2 in those games to go into the playoffs on a high note.

    But let’s be honest, this team doesn’t stay down for long. I’m not worried about this last week and a half of meaningless games. We’re not going to have homefield advantage over the Dodgers, and we’ll probably have it over the NL Central winner, so who cares? There are plenty of mini-storylines between now and the end of the season that will shape how the playoffs go to where I’m not worried about the overall won/loss.

  4. Men, I just want Acuña to hit his 40 homer already…, His getting obsessed with the 40/40, he’s trying to pull everything, hitting lots of flyballs, and lots and lots of Ks. Frustrating to see..

  5. @7

    to ruthlessly pursue it some would call just norty
    though if it was you or I
    the higher team calling might have to crawl away and die.

  6. I’m pulling for a 4 way tie between the three NL Central teams and the gNats, so we can have a Play-In-Pocalypse to see who’s out of the Wild Card.

    How would that work?

    Cards-Cubs for example winner to play Brewers, loser to play gNats. Then the winner of the gNats-Cubs(for ex) plays the loser of the Cards-Brewers in the Wild Card game?

    I’m shivering in anticipation.

  7. @6 But I don’t want to see the Braves lose the season series to the Phils. To that we need the next two. Sigh.

    Also would like to even up the KC series. That would require a sweep of KC.

  8. @12

    I get what you’re going for with it, and I don’t mean this to be antagonistic in any way, but your obsession with winning the season series against every team can be a little much at times IMO. It’s important on a macro level, in the same way that winning series is important…if you generally win them, you’re gonna make the playoffs.

    But on a micro level, Rob is right. It really doesn’t mean anything at this point if we lose the season series to the Phillies or the one to the Royals. Just get the division clinched and generally finish strong.

  9. @13 Is right, with the clubs’ position in the standings. It’d be fun to take the season series from the Phillies, but it isn’t a must. The KC series doesn’t really matter at all.

    The most important thing the Braves need to do is get ready for the postseason. They need to play Ender, and see if he can get his bat going. They need to sort out the bullpen, and see exactly whom will be the 4th playoff starter. It probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to get Riley some time too, just to see if he can contribute to the club in the postseason.

  10. One of the things the Braves did so well last weekend against the gNats was to make sure Rendon or Soto came up with no one on base. Not so much tonight with Harper.

  11. I hate to sound so negative, but I believe I am already mentally prepared for another first round exit from the playoffs.

  12. More like:
    Ronald playing badly for over a month and striking out more than Riley;
    Ozzie being an extreme hot or cold, no idea what you get in Oct.
    Freddie not homering since Sept. 1st; hardly any rbi’s either.
    Mulleted scamp also slumping for a while.
    Markakis…well….its Markakis.
    Bmac being garbage for months, and Flowers, well, nuff said.
    Dansby not looking like he belongs on the roster since he returned from injuries.
    Joyce, I guess has looked good for a while.

    They all have to step it up soon :/

    edit: ugh, Bmac.
    Why did Cervelli have to die….

  13. Everyone: Ok McCann, we’ve got 2 on, one out, and we really need to cash this in. You are the slowest runner in baseball. The worst thing that could happen would be a double play. Please don’t hit the ball on the ground.

    McCann: Mm’k imma hit a ground ball.

  14. I’m a huge fan of McCann, but man… He’s one of the few guys who could get thrown out at 1st on a single to left. Lol

  15. Welp…..

    In the last 7 days, of the regulars, only Markakis, Ozzie, Joyce, and Donaldson are hitting .300 and Ozzie is the only one hitting more than singles. The other three have one double (Kakes) between them.

    In the last 30 days, here are some AVGs:

    BMac .160
    Dansby .167
    Acuna .184
    Donaldson .224
    Culby .053
    Ortega .185
    Riley .200
    Hech .229
    Duvall .250
    BHam .261

    We’ve been winning but only because our pitching has been very very good. Every game seems like a nail-biter. Ozzie and Joyce (and before last week, Freddie) have been carrying this team on their shoulders.

  16. if Ronald doesn’t get to 40-40, its due to Ozzie swinging at first pitches fouling others when Ronald had it stolen.

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