Game 5 Preview

Doomed, right? Totally doomed. The Braves have not fared very well since the turn of the century when it comes to the ole “winning a playoff series” goal. We’ve not won a deciding game this century. But, we do have some things going for us in this particular one, so here goes:

1. Home Field Advantage

The home team is 8-6 so far in the postseason, and that’s with New York steamrolling Minnesota to a 3-0 sweep. Atlanta was 50-31 at home (.617 winning percentage) vs. 47-34 (.580 winning percentage) on the road. St. Louis was also 50-31 at home, but 41-40 on the road. It doesn’t take much, but all 3 of those things point to the Braves.

2. Mike Foltynewicz

Since getting recalled from AAA, he had a 2.65 ERA in 10 regular season starts. On Friday, he delivered a gem: 7 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 BB, 7 K. He seems to be on right now, so if you can’t go to Mike Soroka, Mike is a great option.

3. We Got to Flaherty in Game 2

“Getting to” Jack Flaherty is a relative term; 3 runs in Game 2 is hardly an offensive outburst. But in Flaherty’s last 16 regular season starts, he gave up only 3 runs once. He had been hot, and we did enough to get to him.

4. Offense Can’t Continue to Be This Bad… Right?

It’s been well-covered in the comments and recaps. The middle of the order has been putrid. The core of the lineup collectively couldn’t out-hit Rafael Belliard right now. If you believe in the law of averages, you have to think that something will happen. Someone will put a good swing on a ball. For a team that was able to score runs in bunches all year, it’s alarming that there are only 5 crooked numbers in 36 innings of baseball this series.

They’ll also most likely make some tweaks to the lineup. Mark Bowman says that Snit is considering inserting Adam Duvall into the lineup:

And maybe you move Dansby Swanson up in the order a little bit to see if he stays the hot hand.

5. The Bullpen

Jack Flaherty is, by far, St. Louis’ best pitcher. Behind him, you could look at throwing Adam Wainwright in relief, but as far as true relievers go, the options are a little thinner. Andrew Miller has been effective, but Carlos Martinez has not. The advantage definitely goes to Atlanta in terms of the amount of options to go to. And of course, Atlanta could also go to Mike Soroka in relief.

Honorable Mention: Phil Collins

Just making sure I have all my bases covered.

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223 thoughts on “Game 5 Preview”

  1. There are two strains of playoff thought. The first is “Dance with what brung ya.” That’s the Bobby Cox way, and therefore the Braves way, for better or worse. And while it only brought us one WS, it brought us a lot of playoff series wins too.
    The second theory is the “The playoffs are entirely different so every damn crazy idea is exactly what I’m going to do even though it would be suicide in the regular season.” The problem with this theory is that when it fails you look ridiculous and all full of strategery, though when it works people call you Joe Maddon, who, genius that he is, is out of job this week.
    We got to the playoffs with a strong bench decimated to a net zero (Duvall vs everyone else) and with a pitching rotation that we can’t quite seem to decide how to manage. That’s Maddonball, and we kinda suck at it. But 3-7 in the lineup are in full “dance with what brung ya” mode. (So are 1,2, and 8, btw, but no one is complaining about them.) That’s the way Snitker is managing, unsurprisingly, and I think people understate the variance in baseball… it’s ridiculously easy to look terrible for four games and then perform at the level you’re being paid. I can live with failure if you show faith in what brung ya to the dance…. but you’ve gotta keep the faith. I have… and I’ll still have the faith, and I’ll have it even if Sam Holbrook calls another BS infield fly. I’ve got 53 years invested in this team, and another 20 or so to live, God willing, and it’s time for the boys to go out and give it their best. I ask no more.
    I guess I’m supposed to recap tomorrow, but it may be beyond my talents. I just wanted to get this off my chest before the festivities begin.
    Go Braves.

  2. I have full confidence in who brung em. I expect Freddie Franchise to come through tomorrow.
    I also have full confidence in JonathanF’s ability to recap it in style. (Having said that, I don’t think I could do it)

  3. What were the arguments against Charlie Morton? Seems like that should have been a guy we were in on for $30M over two years.

  4. I’d consider rolling this lineup out:

    Acuna
    Albies
    Freeman
    Duval
    Swanson
    Donaldson
    Flowers
    Hamilton

  5. I know we’ve all got PTSD from decades of playoff disappointments, but let’s not forget that the mighty Dodgers, Natspos and Astros are all tied 2-2 in their series as well. Baseball is like that. Game day! Go Braves!

  6. I have a history of the Braves doing better when I am not watching them. In 1995 I was working at Blockbuster Video the night of Game 6, last year I didn’t watch the Acuna grand slam game and was avoiding game 4 until we had to run into the AT&T store and they had the game on, and the Braves immediately coughed up a 2-run lead.

    This year I went to the movies during games twice and both times, I was pleased to check the score and see a Braves blowout win.

    So I went to the movies during game 2 and we know how that turned out.

    I think I am going to bring out the big guns and go to a 5:30 movie today so the real question is, should I see Ad Astra or The Joker?

  7. Vegas has the Cardinals as the favorite. Folty’s going to tell Vegas to stop being a little bi*ch.

    The recency bias is in our favor.
    The season record is in our favor.
    Playoff pythag record is in our favor.
    Playing at home is in our favor.

    Go get it, boys!

  8. Markakis is now 4-29 in the postseason as a Brave with 1 extra base hit (a double).

    While of course you have to stick with Freddie and hope he breaks out of the funk, you don’t have to stick with Nick as he has nowhere near the track record and there is a reasonable alternative in Joyce/Duvall.

    Id go:

    Acuna
    Albies
    Freddie
    JD
    Joyce
    Duvall
    Swanson
    McCann
    Folty

    Fried gets the 7th and 8th
    Soroka the 9th

    McCann only there because he calls a good game and Folty clearly likes pitching to him.

  9. THE SEVEN STAGES OF MAN

    All the worlds a field
    and all the men and minors merely players
    they have their exits and their entrances
    and one jock in his time plays many parts,
    his acts so covered in their many stages
    At first, the phenom,mewling and puking in his coaches arms.
    so soon the star, full of strange oaths and bearded like the rest
    seeking the bubble reputation even in the cannon’s mouth.
    But Molina like Yon Cardinals appropriately decline
    into the lean and slippered pantaloon
    with spectacles on nose and pouch on side.
    Last scene of all,
    That ends this strange eventful history –
    their second childishness and mere oblivion
    Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

  10. Dusty, that’s really funny that you say that as I was considering just keeping my normal gym time (5PM) and then going to watch The Joker. I know it’s pure fan craziness, but I feel like I’ve been bad luck when I’ve watched.

  11. @21, pretty much all of us have felt that way for 20 years. Is the only solution that NONE of us can watch?

  12. @19 I’m with Dusty on his line up! It looks really, really good. The only thing I’d tweak is I’d throw the lefty/righty thing out the window (if that was even a consideration) and hit Duvall 5th, followed by Joyce 6th.

  13. I guess Snitker is gambling that the guys who have been slumping are due to break out. Surprised Dansby is 8th.

    Sadly not surprised that Neck is in the lineup batting 5th.

  14. @23 Ugh!! I’m trying to refrain from cursing, but I don’t understand the love affair Snitker has not only with starting Markakis, but also hitting him 5th! He’s sucked in the postseason for his entire career!! I know Joyce ain’t lighting the world on fire, but he at least has some pop, without an entire encyclopedia’s worth of sucktitude on the back of his baseball card in the playoffs.

  15. I’m going to look into starting a petition for Braves fans asking for Atlanta to decline Markakis’ option so Snit can’t play him next season.

  16. I was at the game two win last Friday and also at the RAJ grand slam game last year. I don’t have tickets for tonight but I think I owe it to the team to be there in person. How about everyone contributing to buy me tickets for tonight?

  17. @28 Would you be willing to flatten Markakis’ tires prior to the game? If so, I’ll buy you a ticket myself!

  18. Cervelli is 3 for his last 25 going back to the first of September. That is of course a SSS but he’s shown nothing that indicates he’s on the verge of an offensive breakout. Folty likes throwing to McCann and they worked well together in Game 2.

  19. I must admit, I’m a bit confused with blazon’s insistence on Cervelli. I think it’s probably pick-a-catcher, any-catcher at this point. Folty likes throwing to McCann and McCann is left-handed…sounds good to me. I would probably drop him to eighth in the order, but he’s already seventh, so whatever.

  20. The Braves and Cardinals have twice played a winner take all game. One was the infield fly game in 2012 but the other was a 15-0 game 7 Braves win in the NLCS to advance to the World Series.

    That year the Braves swept the Dodgers in the LDS and of course lost to the Yankees in 4-2 in the World Series. Could see the exact same opponents.

    Let’s hope we have a repeat of 1996 (except the WS loss part).

  21. Hot Stove alert! Arb projections are out on MLBTR so all you offseason GMs get to work building another winner:

    Braves (9)

    Shane Greene – $6.5MM
    Mike Foltynewicz – $7.5MM
    Charlie Culberson – $1.8MM
    Adam Duvall – $3.8MM
    John Ryan Murphy – $1.2MM
    Dansby Swanson – $3.3MM
    Luke Jackson – $1.9MM
    Grant Dayton – $800K
    Johan Camargo – $1.6MM

  22. 40 – I was projecting $15 million or so and this number (assuming Murphy non tendered but we keep the rest) winds up being $11,140,000 so actually a little better than I had hoped.

  23. Re Cervelli…do you remember his first appearance for us? Harsh consistent contact and even catcher-plus scuttling on the bases. I suspect lately he’s been told to take it easy, save himself for Game 5. Now it looks more like a Game 7. Not a Realmuto man, Rob, can’t stand his face. Sour.

    If Mac has to be there for Folty then I understand but i’m not looking forward to his at bats.

  24. 43 – Apologies for the lack of clarity, yes I did include Luke. My $15 million was my projection for arb raises not arb totals.

  25. Re: arb-estimates
    Here was mine from earlier:

    Shane Greene: 5.5 MM (off +1MM)
    Mike Foltynewicz: 6.6 MM (off +900K)
    Charlie Culberson: 2.3 MM (off -500K)
    Dansby Swanson: 2.5 MM (off +800K)
    Luke Jackson: 1.6 MM (off +300K)
    Johan Camargo: 1.4 MM (off +100K)
    Grant Dayton : 900 K (off -100K)

    I didn’t do Duvall.

    Honestly, MLBTR is pretty spot on but these numbers seem inflated and has me wondering if something has changed.

  26. The Bringer of Rain shirts arrived today

    This is a powerful omen of even better things to follow

    My daughter is sleeping in hers for luck as game time is her bedtime in BST

    I will try not to fall asleep in my own…

    And Molina delenda est

  27. Actually the $15 million number I had was total salary increases which included $1 million each for Freddie and Julio and $2 mill for Ender so my arb raises were $11 million.

    I only had Folty down for $1 mill but $2 mill seems more accurate given his end of the year run. I was actually higher on Greene thinking he’d get $3 mill vs. $2.5 but the rest was pretty close.

    So no, Ryan C, I don’t think they are high (by much)

  28. Glad the Nats won, so I can watch the Braves at Miami airport before my 7.40 flight back to Zürich.
    I am expecting the Braves to win. The bats are due to break out. Flaherty or no Flaherty.
    Go Braves.

  29. @53

    Wondered where you were on your travels, guess you couldn’t assume a game 5 ticket wise. See you for 7 in about 2 weeks maybe?! I’ll buy 2..should be about 300 each, no more. Kidding.

  30. @38 So John Ryan Murphy is the obvious non-tender candidate. Would I be alone in non-tendering Luke Jackson, though? I hate that 1.9 million dollar projection for a marginal guy who rode a nice little hot streak.

  31. As a word flaherty is unrhymable without awful forcing. So you will be spared that, the venom was all prepared.

    @57 Cruel.

  32. @37

    yeah, i’ve been thinking a lot about the 1996 series the last few days.
    i don’t exactly see Folty hitting a three-run triple, but the last winner-takes-all game in a series definitely serves as a nice omen for today :)

  33. @56 blazon, I have secured a ticket for home game 3 NLCS. So I might make it back. If not, this ticket will be available to Braves Journal of wanted.

    @54 thanks coop. Terrible weather over the Atlantic, my flight is likely delayed which for once is excellent news for me.

  34. Is this the beginning of the end of The Chop?

  35. So one guy said something because of a quote-fishing reporter and the Braves are going to punish their own paying fans?

    I hope the fans at SunTrust are aware of this (probably not, considering the timing of this announcement) and chop like crazy should that reliever enter the game.

  36. @63

    So, uh…that is what would happen, but it would be really bad.

    I don’t think the chop in and of itself is much of a problem (easy for me to say, I know). It’s just happening, it’s not directed at anybody in particular, and kind of is what it is.

    If our fans intentionally direct it specifically at the guy who’s said he’s uncomfortable with it while the team is trying not to…well, now we’re much closer to the line. Almost certainly over it, in my opinion.

  37. I despise the chop and am on board with anything that brings it to an end. I could care less about the politics and social ramifications – it’s just tired af and needs to go away. Replace it with something rednecks will like and start a new tradition.

  38. I’m pro-chop. It’s harmless fun, and most Native Americans don’t seem to have a huge issue with it. This was a case of some reporter who probably either wanted to make a name for themselves, or push a story- and now it’s blowing up into something because, surprise: no surprise.

    I do agree though that directing it specifically at the RP for the Cards isn’t in great taste though, because then it does morph into something it’s currently not.

    I do hope the fans do it though during a big Braves rally.

  39. It’s been a nice season, folks, and a wretched ending. About to lose another round 1 to a much-worse ball club than us, and had two games on a platter that we gave away.

  40. I’m thinking of checking out that Netflix series “Raising Dion” that was filmed here in ATL. I can’t take another year of disappointment.

  41. I’m gonna stick with the game a little bit but I had to turn down social invite at 6pm but am rethinking that as we speak.

  42. Both pitchers first pitches show as strikes on Gameday but called balls. Who’s the HP ump? Holbrook?

  43. Well, I guess we’re losing because Im not watching; just judging from the posts here, I’m not going to turn it on.

    Take care guys, I might take next season off unless waters and pache give me a reason to tune in.

  44. Maybe they should bring in O’Day to at least close out the 1st.

    Just had to walk the pitcher, didn’t he?

  45. Earlier today I envisioned a start like this. It’s just that I imagined the Braves would jump on the Cards early, not the other way around.

  46. Alright everybody who were saying some of us were being too defeatist. Let’s hear it. I’d love to hear how this is just bad luck or you still have full confidence in this team moving forward.

  47. This is, by far, the most embarrassing playoff appearance in franchise history, at least since they moved to ATL. And we haven’t even batted yet.

  48. Somewhere the Falcons are like “I can’t believe how badly you guys are embarrassing Atlanta in the playoffs.”

  49. I hope the hitters stick to a plan and work counts and see if we can chip this away. I just can’t give up until after the first inning is over. I can’t.

    But I’ve never seen anything like this in a playoff before. There have to have been several records broken.

  50. I’ve never been a critic of Snitker. But pulling Folty after an intentional walk before facing the pitcher was absolutely stupid. He wasn’t missing by much and Fried is ice cold. This is comically, grotesquely barves.

  51. Freddie, Donaldson, McCann have good travel agents. I’m sure they’re off to a beach in the morning. They’ve been thinking about it since August.

  52. Credit Ron Darling for the silver lining, “Flaherty won’t be as sharp after a 26 minute first inning.”

    We have them right where we want them.

  53. Better question: would Donaldson want to come back to this shit show?

    You follow these guys day in and day out for eight months and this is how they compensate their fans.

  54. I need someone to find the old Alex R as we are in desperate need for a Freddie Freeman 1200 word rant.

  55. @144 – Gerrit Cole – possibly the best starter in baseball – is a free agent. If Atlanta doesn’t go all out for him, then I think we have our answer as to how much the FO cares about winning. Yes, it will cost money and you will have to suffer the winner’s curse to overpay and sign him, but it’s really the wonky way. In these 10 straight playoff series losses they have lost Game 1 each time. Gotta get a #1.

  56. Woo, doggies. Somebody’s having fun, some folks ain’t.

    Remember when bad baseball was all we had. Kinda takes you back.

  57. You poured one yet, King?

    P. S. I am a Braves fan through the final out and to infinity and beyond. I may pull for the Nats if we can’t come back.

    The Cardinals are now my most hated.

  58. @148 Couldn’t agree more. If they non-tender Folty and decline Julio’s option, you can offset some of the cost. A rotation of Cole, Sororka and Freid gives you a better shot in the playoffs.

  59. @148:

    They have a No. 1. His name is Mike Soroka. But, “experience” and “slow heartbeat” and “return on investment,” right?

  60. @155 Regardless of who you label as the “one” you’ve still got match up problems after Sork.

    If/had we won this series, who matches Kershaw or Strasburg pitch for pitch?

  61. Luke Jackson’s countenance is our postseason avatar. Shambolic and a general mess with no sign that there was any preparation involved.

  62. I booed at 4-0 and yelled “every fucking October”
    Some guy said “Cussing isn’t worth it. Why don’t you leave?”
    So I said “Fuck you cock sucker I will leave! Enjoy this shit show”
    Then I left

  63. @159

    Worry about that in the next series if you get there. In the last 18 seasons that has proven to be too steep a mountain to climb. So you have to figure out how to climb that, and you start by having your best pitcher out there for the maximum possible appearances in this series.

  64. We came into this needing Folty to pitch the game of his life after he just tossed the game of his life. I think that’s where it went wrong. That’s a big ask.

  65. Coop, as much as I’d hate to, I’d root for the Nats too against the Cards.

    If the Braves get bounced though, let’s go Stros!

  66. I can’t believe the announcers just said that Molina’s bat flip was just fine but Acuna’s was unjustified. Really don’t need those jackasses piling on this travesty of a game with their undying idolatry of Molina.

  67. Back in high school, I was the tallest player on our basketball team and by default was our center. I was taller then, almost 5-11. We played some Columbus area team, either Lagrange or Lanier. They had a pair of twins that later played college ball in Orange uniforms. They were giants, 6-4 or 6-5. They beat us like this, once there and once at our empty gym.

    Humility is a virtue. Getting humbled sucks.

  68. @162 – Well done Smitty. My hero. I mean, what was happening on the field was waaaay more obscene than any mere word could be.

  69. I think at this point we’re just waiting for the information to come out that this is the worst postseason loss in history. Whattaya think, 5 more runs should do it?

  70. This might be overly dramatic, but this is going to weigh on the psyche of Braves fans for a long time. Good luck getting a fanbase excited.

  71. I know a double-digit loss at home in game 5 is going to sting like hell for a long time, but my gosh, the middle of our order and our “big” free agent pitching acquisition just didn’t show up this series. We’ll break down the series once the immense pain and sorrow dissipates, but there are going to be A LOT of players that didn’t perform nearly to their levels to lose this series, in this fashion, to an inferior team.

    At least what makes me feel better right now is that this is not the highest level of talent the rebuild will produce. That’s probably next year, and maybe even the year after. But payroll needs to increase, and all these guys need to get a year older, fast.

  72. @177

    Stephen, sometimes you’re prone to hyperbole, but not this time. I told my wife just now that this is probably a good thing, and it’s based on your point. Good freaking luck getting the fanbase excited about which 21-year old is putting the bat on the ball or getting guys out. Those days are done. The expectations have not only been increased significantly, but now we’ve been horribly disappointed. We went from wondering if we would even win the division to being completely disenfranchised. Good luck fixing that, FO and ownership.

  73. Between Markakis’ two contracts, he’s proven that the sequel is rarely better than the original. My gosh, I never want to see him again. Even my wife has turned on him, and that’s saying something.

  74. @177 – I mean, where exactly was everyone’s psyche BEFORE this game? I’ve been feeling the October failure ptsd since at least 2012.

    Before Game 1 I posted my ranking of the last 9 playoff loses ranked by heartbreak. It was already bad. The defeatist mindset is well established and justified. If I reranked everything now I’m really tempted to move this to #1. Home field advantage against probably the weakest opponent of the last 10 postseasons.

  75. Are they really a weak opponent? Their pitching is far superior top to bottom. I think we are the weakest team in the postseason again, same as last year. It hurts more for those that think the Braves are loaded. We’re a far cry from that, still a lot of work to do.

  76. I’m invested. We raised these kids. Next year won’t be easy for them, but hopefully –that word– hopefully the old players will be younger and stronger.

    Catchers and outfielders, a TOR guy ought to tighten what’s loose. An influx of spending would be nice. Retirement/going away bashes for BMac, Flowers, Neck may already have been scheduled.

    And BMac legs one out.

  77. There’s another sort of loss we are feeling here. We’ve lost a game, to watch, to enjoy, one we were hepped up about since Monday.

    Conjectures, guessing, hoping…the usual pre-game stuff amplified by the occasion.

    It’s all gone, swept away by a cruel wind.

  78. @162 – Smitty, I hope that was a real thing that happened, because its the only time a smile came to my face since the game started.

    I feel I was robbed of a game as well ; after all the anticipation, I missed the first inning; by the time I read the posts here I knew better than to watch it.

    As it’s being said now, this is going to kill the fan base in the short term unless big changes are made. And I doubt they will be.

    I wonder if that braves BATRA stock is going to feel the effects of this loss?

  79. @185, that’s a start. I think I need Freeman to go away in order for me to mentally reset, but I’m not going to get my hopes up. Probably a better chance of re-upping Markakis than that happening, lol.

  80. The torch is being passed. We are watching it happen. It’s not just the Markasises and the like, the obvious targets. Folty will not pitch for us again and Fried is lucky that he will.

    The drama is at the top. Snit is gone, our missing steel will be ascribed to him, fairly. Freddie has quite lost his leadership of the team, the error symbolizing it. Youth will take over a group of guys it was already threatening to dominate. The Veterans coach will be summoned to take Mac and others we hold dear to Valhalla. AA is safe, just.

    One day, we might just look back at tonight and thank God.

  81. This loss will suck, but it’s a small thing. Anderson, Pache and Waters are still on the way; and that’ll make the team better. One would have to assume the bench will be healthier, and that’ll also make the team better. It’d have been nice to see the Braves take another step this year, but as Rob already touched on, this is far from their best shot.

  82. I’m not ready to write Freeman off just yet, but I certainly have some questions now. Is the elbow healthy, or isn’t it? If it isn’t, fair enough on this series- but fix it. If it’s healthy, and this is a slump- own it. He can’t sit the middle though with this whole is it an issue, or is it not? It’s not fair to the team or the fans.

  83. In the grand scheme of things, it is still one loss. Sure, that one hurt the most but there’s still a lot to be positive about going forward, just like we all thought one week ago.
    Getting Cole however, I agree, has to be one of the targets.

  84. I think I’m gonna need to see that eskimo ritual where the elders take that one-way boat ride into the ocean. Snit can man the oars, and take BMac/Freddie/Markakis/Flowers/Culberson/Joyce/Keuchel/Julio and half the pen with him. Unleash and let the kids play. We may not win the division, but come October we might actually win a playoff series with a group that isn’t all ate up with Atlanta taint.

  85. Alec, g not s! One of our few wins you know.

    I don’t for a moment think Freddie will go elsewhere. I don’t think he’d want to. He might be very happy to relinquish the reins of always being the one interviewed when big things are happening.

  86. I really like Newk in the pen, but I’d be alright if they give him another chance to start so long as they acquire a dependable lefty for the pen.

    No, AJ Minter, not you.

  87. Well, I was bitterly complaining about having to work through much of this game, but man did that turn out to be a blessing.

    By the way, the fucking Nationals are absolutely going to win tonight now…just for one last twist of the knife. Had we won, the Dodgers would win no problem, but not now.

  88. Mercy, mercy, it’s over. I never want to see another game like that but i watched every pitch somehow.

    If that was Snit’s last decision, to pinch hit for Mac in the ninth, not a happy one.

    and Julio…the link, the old and the new!

  89. Starting Keuchel in Game 1, pinch-hitting for the best catcher in the team’s Atlanta history (and perhaps the entire history) … if Snitker is jettisoned, it wouldn’t bother me one bit. Might be a bit of a dice roll, but I think he’s taken the team as far as he can. You literally have someone who managed a team to back-to-back World Series on the staff — and is beloved in the clubhouse, especially by the young generation that will carry this team into the 2020s. Hand the keys to Ron Washington and let’s see if we can change up the juju a little bit.

  90. Pinch hitting for McCann in a 13-1 game is some bush league BS. That might be that man’s final AB ever, and he also just so happens to be a franchise icon.

    I believe I’m ready for Snit to be shown to the door.

  91. @210 Nick, I know how you feel. I went in early so I could come home early to see at least half the game on TV. I thought I might see the first on Gameday, listen to the next 2-3 on the radio, and catch the rest at home. NOT. What a waste of time and I ended up catching the worst of DC traffic. Got home by the 8th, though…… LOL

    This is going to hurt for a long time. Even the first four games built up expectations. I can’t recall a bigger letdown. I’d have to compare Freddie not being able to handle Molina’s single in Game 4 as a Bill Buckner moment. If you recall, the Buckner game was not the last game of the series. And the Red Sox lost Game 7. Are we feeling the Curse of the Waino? Or does it go farther back than that?

    It seems to me, like the Red Sox, that we won’t be able to overcome this curse with “one of the best” teams in the Majors, but will have to have the best team in the majors by a wide margin to get past it.

  92. @219

    Corporate ownership will not spend what having “the best team in the majors by a wide margin” requires. Hate to bring it back to that, but … there’s a ceiling on what can be accomplished under the current structure.

  93. McCann says he’s retiring, per Kelsey Wingert. And Snitker wouldn’t give him one final at-bat, one final ovation from the crowd.

  94. @221 That’s a disgrace. Zero reason not to let him have a moment there.

    List of folks I’m ready to see gone:
    Brian Snitker
    Nick Markakis

    That order please.

  95. McCann can go retire as perhaps the fifth best catcher in the franchise’s history. Good for him. He never hit past July. I won’t miss him, though I respect that some may. I miss Biff Pocoroba instead. Pocoraba would have flayed these motherfucking Cardinals.

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