Mets Win? I d’Arnaud about that…Braves stage HUGE comeback!

Well, I would certainly not like to be in the Mets clubhouse after that one.

The Braves are only going to get to play 60 regular season games this season, but that game had enough drama on its own to make up for the missing 102 games. What a game, and there’s a lot to talk about with it.

Positives:

  • How much fun was that? Before I even get into breaking down any finer points of the game, let’s just marvel at the win itself. Games like that are why we watch, and why we spent four months craving to get this back. The Braves have pulled this off fairly frequently given how tough it is to do, from the 7-2 comeback against the Phillies last year to pulling back a 9-3 deficit against the Marlins in 2018. But never take a win like that for granted, and especially not in a season as topsy-turvy as this.
  • Travis d’Arnaud. What else can you say? A five RBI night against his old team, a game-winning hit with all the pressure on him in the eighth and nine solid innings behind the plate. He even stole a base for the first time since 2014. At his current pace of one stolen base every 251 games, he will need to play just 352,655 more gamesor in other words he needs to keep a Cal Ripken iron man streak going until the year 4196—to break Rickey Henderson’s all-time record. I think he’s got it in him.
  • Make it 11 RBIs in eight games for Dansby Swanson. Don’t let his RBI hits in the sixth and eighth get lost in the shuffle. Those were huge, and both great opposite field swings. Chip Caray used to use the phrase “hotter than a dancing bobcat” to describe players on a good run but that doesn’t feel strong enough. We need to come up with a new catchphrase for Dansby, because he has surpassed dancing bobcat territory. He might have an NL Player of the Week award with his name on it come Monday.
  • You know what was the best play of the game you forgot? In the top of the fifth with the Mets up 7-2, Robinson Cano hit a base hit to right. Michael Conforto scored from third, but Yoenis Cespedes was held up. Why? Because Ronald Acuña Jr. threw a laser home. It would have been easy for Ronald to feel a little disengaged at that point with his personal struggles at the plate and the game seemingly way out of reach, but he made a great throw home to save a run. And as it turned out, that moment launched the comeback.
  • The Braves drew five walks after falling behind 8-2, and all five were cashed in for runs. Cha-ching.
  • The Braves are now on top of the NL East standings, and the Mets are in the basement. Hopefully Chipper Jones finds a way to work that into his broadcast notes for Sunday Night Baseball if the standings haven’t changed by then.

Negatives:

  • Alright, unfortunately we do have to address the elephant in the room. I’m only going to go with one negative for a win like that, but it’s an important one so I’m going to take my time.

The crazy comeback was only necessitated because Brian Snitker rolled a dice to see how many runs he could spot the Mets with his bullpen management, and the number came up at seven.

After Nimmo singled to load the bases in the fifth, Snitker decided to end Sean Newcomb’s outing. This was the right call. Unfortunately what happened next was the entrance of Jhoulys Chacin.

It’s not even really a knock on Chacin to say he had no business being in the game at this point. He knows he’s here mostly for long relief and mop-up duty. He was only been allowed to pitch once in the first seven games, and it was the 14-1 win on Sunday.

On May 25, 2018 at Fenway Park, Snitker let a struggling Matt Wisler face Mookie Betts with the Braves trailing 3-2 in the seventh and a man on base. Unsurprisingly, Betts deposited one over the green monster. After the game when asked about the decision he said, “I didn’t want to use (Dan) Winkler and all them (high leverage) guys when we were ahead. We may win the next two games.”

The point of this long-winded story is Snitker didn’t trust his offense to make a comeback down 3-2 two years ago, and still doesn’t now. He treated a one-run deficit like an 11-run deficit tonight. And that’s not an exaggeration. He handed the ball to the same guy he handed it to in an actual 11-run game five days ago. Even after Chacin had faced the required three batters, it was still a manageable 5-2 deficit. But Snitker kept him in the game well beyond 5-2. Chacin gave up three more runs in the inning and two more after the offense cut the deficit in half.

It didn’t matter tonight. But at some point, Snitker is going to have to adapt his bullpen management to manage tight deficits the same way he manages tight leads, because this offense is capable of digging out of a hole if the game is still in reach.

Former Brave Of The Day:

One year ago to the day, Travis Demeritte was traded from Atlanta to Detroit as part of the deal that made Shane Greene a Brave. To celebrate one year in the Motor City, he checked into a game for the first time this season and immediately picked up a pinch-hit two-run double to help the Tigers beat the Reds.

Quote Of The Game:

“It’s ain’t over till it’s over.”;

Yogi Berra

Tomorrow’s Goal:

As fun as that comeback was, not falling into a six-run hole would be better.

32 thoughts on “Mets Win? I d’Arnaud about that…Braves stage HUGE comeback!”

  1. I get the need for Chacin to come in after Newcomb. His stuff was darting and I don’t know why he wasn’t effective. However, he allowed all 3 inherited baserunners to score (the dreaded triple Grybo), plus 3 more, AND Snitker put him back into the 6th where he gave up 2 more after the Braves had added 3 in the bottom of the 5th.

    This is excusable in game 95 of a 162 game season with a 26-man roster, but in 60, when there are 30 players to choose from and accessible players in a pool, it was downright foolhardy and I hope we don’t see it again.

    I won’t deny that Snitker likely knows what makes this team tick more than I but last night’s decision was a towel throw in and the Braves bailed him out.

  2. I’m guessing it was a trial run for Chacin replacing Newcomb in the rotation – stretching him out. Gotta burn through these bad options quickly….

  3. I don’t think we are talking enough about Ozuna. He and Dansby have carried this team, but last night’s effort of scoring from first when the ball didn’t even make it to the wall was bloody remarkable.

  4. I enjoyed this. Thank you!

    I think we need to give a little grace. It’s week 1. I realize it’s a super short season. However, the reality of it is we have players recovering and out of their groove. We have a team, like all others, who didn’t have a long spring training and got thrown into a season before working out the kinks.
    I’ve watched multiple teams and many of them are on this same track.
    I hope to see them snap out of it soon and get it going even stronger.

  5. Ugh, went to bed early and missed it all. But GREAT recap! Wow.

    Chris Martin walked off the field after the 9th because he thought it was the 8th. d’Arnaud’s reaction is pretty funny.

    If only this season were real, it would actually be fun, right Chief?

  6. Great recap, Thank you.

    I get why he put Chacin in but agree, he shouldn’t have started the next inning.
    Then again, TdA mentioned Snit as the main reason for the comeback. According to DOB: “It all starts with Snit giving good energy the whole game, regardless if we’re down 8-2 or up by a ton of runs”.
    I’ll take the odd questionable bullpen management. He is a major reason for all the comebacks in the past seasons.

    Amazing comeback. @5 Yes, Ryan, totally agree on Ozuna. He’s been a very positive surprise.
    Go Braves!

  7. Is there any legitimate talk of cancelling the season? It doesn’t seem like people who worship money are going to say no to it because the Marlins have largely been responsible for the bulk of this.

  8. Passan’s report yesterday came off to me as priming the pump for a “blame the players” narrative to a cancelled season. Whether they do it or not, I’m not sure. There’s an enormous amount of money at stake here for people who — on both sides — are allegedly very greedy. The vast majority of MLB is not having problems right now, so it seems irrational to me to just bang it and go home. Positives were inevitable — that was the whole point of the 60-man player pool. If they bang it, to me it seems that nobody was ever serious about this anyway. Covid is going to be around in Spring 2021, so do they play a 2021 season? Someone’s gotta figure this out.

  9. I could easily eat my words by even the end of the day, but I think there’s a gross overestimation of how much players, owners, and MLB care about someone testing positive. It has been BEATEN into our brains as a collective society that POSITIVE CASES ARE TERRRRRRIBLE. Except… not really. Symptoms are bad. Hospitalizations are really bad. Deaths are, obviously, terrible. But just cases are not. So I think people are hearing about all these positive cases and then the muscle memory kicks in and they assume that all decision-makers are looking at it the way they are. But for the people that have a lot to gain from playing baseball, I don’t think they make that mistake.

  10. Jon Heyman said yesterday that, though it is true that Manfred told Tony Clark that the season could be canceled if this doesn’t improve, the conversation was more on a “so let’s all do better” sort of tilt than an ultimatum in a “shape up or I drop the hammer” sort of way.

    Heyman didn’t think the season would be canceled on Monday, but if a team a week continues to suffer an outbreak or if it gets worse, then yeah…might eventually have to cancel.

  11. There are 900 games scheduled to be played this year. 31 have been postponed or cancelled. That’s kind of a high percentage as of now. Some will be made up, some won’t. I would think the ones that won’t be made up involve teams not in contention (like the Marlins/Orioles games). And I would also think that it’s possible that any subsequent games against the Marlins and Orioles and other teams that are the dregs of the league may get cancelled in order for the real teams to get their 60 games in, like the Phils/Marlins series.

    I hope that we look back on this as we had some hiccups, but the teams that had any chance of playing in the postseason got their 60 games in. Remember, 8 NBA teams didn’t even suit back up for their restart. If the Marlins and Orioles don’t get their full 60 in, then, well, who cares.

    I’m just enjoying the whacky season. I’ll do my continual sparring with Chief in good fun, but I’m not going to let the negative Nancy’s tell me this ain’t a real season. This is fun. And weird.

  12. Changing the topic here…I think we need to start a Free Tucker Davidson campaign.

    Who’s with me?

  13. Man, we’re going through pitchers. Chacin was designated for assignment and Chris Rusin, who we invited to spring training and did well enough there to stick around on our taxi squad, has had his contract purchased and has been called up.

  14. Passan just tweeted a thread. The long and the short of it is that the additional Cardinals player who came back positive today was expected after the team’s contact tracing efforts from yesterday. He says that if the Cardinals outbreak remains relatively well-contained, the season will likely go on. If it turns into a Marlins level super-spreader event, it’s possible Manfred would pull the trigger.

  15. I think it’s a curious choice to start Touki tonight.

    It’s like the Braves can’t make up their minds if he’s a starter or reliever. Personally, I think he profiles better as a reliever because of his walk rate. I also question if he has a deep enough arsenal, though I’m sure the minor league gurus can give more details on that.

  16. @25–I think you’re right that Touki is likely to have more big league success as a reliever than a starter. But who else do you have? I’m assuming he will have a short leash and Snit will manage this more like a bullpen game. At least we won’t see Chacin.
    Having said that, I really like Touki and I’d be thrilled if he turns in a good start.
    Question for our prospect gurus. How soon do we see Ian Anderson starting for the big club?

  17. Great recap, Alan. I’m a big Snitker fan. He has the most important qualities in a manger–the ability to manage the personalities in the clubhouse, including keeping guys on an even keel, always having their back, etc. (Qualities that Bobby Cox had more than any manager I remember.) I don’t know if these qualities are responsible for the remarkable number of comebacks since he’s been manager but I would not discount it.

    But I also agree with your concerns about his bullpen management. He’s not nearly as bad as Fredi (remember the brilliant chart that floated around here during that time?) but he does seem pretty rigid about some guys being right for certain innings regardless of context and not appreciating that leverage in a one or two run deficit can be as high as the leverage in a one or two run lead.

    The other game management concern about Snit was his unwillingness to rest guys and employ much positional flexibility. The notorious comment he made last year was that we were a regular lineup kind of team. But so far this season, he’s showing a lot more flexibility in that regard. He’s already rested Freddie and Ozzie, and his lineup against righties and lefties are quite different. It’s a pretty deep roster–looks like he’s willing to use it well.

    The real test of this latter issue will be how he uses Markakis when he joins the team.

  18. When you have to go to the bullpen in the 5th inning, it’s not a bad idea, big picture wise, to try to get a couple of innings out of your long man. Chacin was bad, so Snitker looks bad, and maybe Snitker should have divined that Chacin was going to be bad. But, the Braves got through a game where they allowed 10 runs, and only used 3 higher leverage relievers. That will help the rest of the weekend.

  19. Yeah, I don’t have a problem going with Chacin in the 5th. He had done very well his previous outing relieving Newk. I did not understand letting him start the 6th after being so ineffective in the 5th. With the expanded roster, there are lots of arms in the pen.

  20. Have we tried to compile a database of how Kaminski ‘organizes’ each batter yet?

    He uses green sleeves on Cespedes, which I thought was hilarious.

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